When I tell people I'm a writer, I usually get asked these two questions: How many pages is your book? or How long did it take to write it? The answers for both are: It depends and ... it REALLY depends.
Most books go through about a million revisions. My children's writing teacher recently mapped out just how many revisions he had to deal with when putting together his book... and this was a picture book with much fewer words. But by the time an author does several drafts herself, then goes through changes with an agent and then editor, you can end up with a much different -- and presumably much better -- book than the one you'd originally written.
That teacher suggested that if we have someone read our stuff, we ideally find a person who cares about you... but knows what good writing is. Your grandma may care about you, but can she really give you an objective opinion?
My goal is to make my novel as good as possible BEFORE I query agents so I had several writer friends read my first draft and then had another author do a thorough edit on my second draft. She came back to me with 15 pages of notes!
She was very encouraging and I LOVE her suggestions... but I have a lot of work ahead of me. It's work I enjoy, but I still need a day to process her ideas and figure out how I'll tweak my story. And this is why I'm procrastinating by posting in this blog, LOL.
I'm grateful to have writers in my life who will cheer me on but also be honest about my manuscripts. I believe in Novel No. 2 and know that with this friend's help, it's going to be an even better story than it was before.
We're going on vacation in about a month and my goal is to finish these revisions by that time. Then it will be time to chase agents... again.
Meantime, please read and review REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.