Several weeks ago, I received feedback on my second novel, To Retreat From Romance.
I knew that I would have some mixed responses, but I did not expect them to be as varied as they were. While some folks loved one subplot, others thought it unmotivated (or non-existent). Whereas one reader found certain elements to be a great part of the story, another loathed them. Different attitudes informed diametrically opposed responses regarding not only the content but the tone as well. I was reminded of my review of Real Men Don’t Text and felt that perhaps I was guilty of all the things I previously critiqued.
As a result, my attitude toward my second novel has shifted dramatically, and I will be returning to formula in a few of areas—not all of those recommended but some. My readers keyed into issues I would never have noticed simply because I enjoyed the way I told my story, even if it was not the best way to do so. I have chapters to add, others to reduce and possibly combine. I have subplots that need exploration and main plot points that need clarification. I have already made enough changes to know the next draft will be decidedly different and hopefully better than the first.
This is the stuff of which a writer dreams—that he or she would produce something that first elicits strong reactions in either direction and then demands improvement of the work as a result. I am immensely thankful for my Romance Revisions Committee and their insights. Be assured, you have fellow readers whose vigilance will provide you with a better experience than they had upon the first time engaging this novel.
Inasmuch as my workload has increased beyond expectation, I have nothing but hope looking toward this next draft. I know what worked in the last one, and I know why. Additionally, I know how to harness those strengths while also improving upon those things that failed. To Retreat From Romance is going to be a good book; of that, I am confident. And thanks to my team, it will be a far better book than one I could have produced by myself.
Thanks for reading all,
PS - Interested in updates on To Retreat From Romance and other 3LC Publications? I intend to launch an official 3LC Mailing List this summer! Direct Updates and additional content will be sent to your inbox monthly, and you may find yourself receiving benefits down the road as a result of joining! Keeping checking back here for details!