This is an exciting time for any novelist – a second draft of my latest novel is complete and I am now sending it off to some trusted readers for feedback.

Exciting, yet scary.

No one else has even seen a word of this novel, and now about eight people will be receiving it, tasked with letting me have it: the good, the bad, the ugly.

Honestly, I have no idea what I’ve created. It makes sense in my mind, but as a prior post expounded, my mind can be somewhat uneven. Who knows what others will think about it?

Luckily, I have some really shrewd readers who have agreed to take it on. Many of them have extensive backgrounds in literature, so I feel confident they will be open and honest with me about what works and what doesn’t.

Then it’s up to me to not be defensive. To take in their criticism and look back at the manuscript to make the final determination of whether, in my opinion, their ideas need to be addressed. Probably, they do. Initial feedback is oftentimes the most helpful. It helps shape the final draft and helps ready it for the editor to once again pick it apart.

But it’s also at this point that I can start thinking about my next novel. What should it be? Actually, I have the first chapter of a different novel already written. I will take a good long look at it as it will most likely be my next one – set in a imagined tropical island in southeast Asia. Yeah, I know. Asia always calls me home.

So, thank you readers for taking my baby and giving me your honest feedback. It will allow me to move forward and try something new. But I know that in a couple months, I’ll be back at novel 4 one more time to get things ready for my editor.

I must admit that it’s awfully fun to be a writer. May the creative processes never cease! Here’s to four, five, and beyond!

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