I let my mom be the first person to read it in paper form and make edits. Then I read it for myself and made edits of my own. I tried not to even think about it for about two months so that helped me look at it with fresh eyes. It started out really good. It was interesting and I liked what I was reading but then it fell flat. There were different parts of the story that were just boring and other parts where I just didn't like my own writing. I was probably really over it the day I wrote certain parts and I could tell. After spending years and years on this it was really discouraging and I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do to fix it. I had a few ideas, but nothing concrete. Nothing I felt confident about making that difference I needed to make.
I decided to deal with the basic edits first. Getting through it was tedious but I had to get it done from the paper version before I started making any major changes in Word. A lot of it was grammar, some of it was wording, some of it was calling characters by the wrong name, but all of it was really time consuming. It was page after page, correction after correction and it felt like it would never end. It took me about three sessions to get it all done. I did session two at my favorite coffee shop and I felt really old school carting that giant stack of paper around but in a really good way. A really proud way. Like, I wrote that. Those are my words. Every single last one of them. It's technically a manuscript although I don't feel comfortable referring to it as such.
After I finished that round of corrections it was time to get back to writing mode and start trying to make it better. That's when I got discouraged again because I still wasn't sure exactly where to start. Part of me just wanted to be done with it. I wasn't totally satisfied, but I did what I set out to do. I wrote over 100,000 words. I wrote a novel and it's done. I was tired of thinking about this thing so maybe that was good enough. That's what I tried to tell myself, except it wasn't good enough and I couldn't rest until I made it better.
Spurred along by forces outside myself that wouldn't allow me to give up; I sat there at my dining room table with my laptop open one Sunday morning. I looked at the random notes I'd made in my phone while I did my paper reading. I made some more notes in my dog eared spiral notebook. I did a
The obvious question is, "Now what?" and the annoying answer is still, "I don't know."