So that book that I worked on all last year and went back to in July, slogging my way slowly through a new draft of the first four and a half chapters--Well, I got someone to read Chapters One and Two because I wasn't feeling the excitement. I would read books I didn't like and wonder, Am I doing what this author did? Am I taking too long to get to things? Am I stopping dead in my tracks in order to describe something? (What you might call the Da Vinci Distraction, because it was always happening in The Da Vinci Code.) Am I creating information dumps? Am I spending too much time talking about what the main character is thinking? Am I using the word think too much? Is there another word for think?
Anyway, my reader was in absolute despair, because he didn't like my manuscript. It didn't sound like me. It was all just Olivia's weird problems.
I had to reassure him that he was actually being helpful. Some of the things we talked about were things I was already wondering about, myself. I really didn't feel despair, but rather reassurance that I should make a dramatic change, as in starting the book in a different place.
I also wasn't focusing enough on what I wanted the book to be. I was just wallowing in the main character's angst, which did nothing but make her undefined and miserable.
So on to Draft Eight! I don't care if I work on this thing for the rest of my life!