Something really exciting happened for me recently. I got to The End of another book. Woohoo!! But as I’m sure my fellow authors out there know, getting to the end is just the beginning. There’s still a lot of work ahead. But before tackling edits, I like to have someone read the story. Generally, I pick someone who has never seen the story before because I like to get a fresh opinion.
I consider myself lucky because I have many writer friends that will be very critical beta readers. But sometimes you get back those comments and you just want to go hide under the covers. When I got back my friends comments on this draft I had a minor freak out. It wasn’t because the comments weren’t expected, I sort of knew my trouble spots. It was that I had no idea how to fix the issues, and I was dreadfully afraid I was going to have to star from scratch.
Have you ever been there? Maybe it’s because you’ve already spent too much time with the characters and their story. Maybe you’re just sick to death of your books, as I tend to be when I get to the end. But whatever the reason, it’s like you’ve slammed into a wall and you just can’t see a way around it.
Some say take some time away and let it soak in. I’m not that patient of a person. I like knowing that I’m done and I’m free to move on to other things. What worked for me to tear down that wall was hashing it out with my brilliant beta reader. With a fresh round of brainstorming I pulled that wall down brick by brick and found a solution to my story problems that was manageable.