It's my day off, and I've reconsidered my desire to either leave ministry or become a rampant people-pleaser. I think I'll just stay me, and make nice to the best of my ability without capitulating to the crazy, and move on.
Today I am editing the novel. I've spent roughly a week away from it, and it's interesting coming back to it from the beginning. A few things I have noticed:
1) My characters often sound too much like me. Some of them have more distinct voices of their own, but most of them still construct sentences like slightly altered versions of me. I need to do some thinking about how the characters should express themselves, to distinguish them from each other and from me.
2) There is emotional depth in the painful ends of relationships, but not so much in the actual relationships. The pain isn't as believable as it could be because the relationships don't seem to have enough emotion invested in them to cause that much pain. So, I'm filling out some of the relational stuff.
3) Writing that quickly leads to odd inconsistencies in plot and character details. As in, "Wait, wasn't that guy's name Paul the last time he showed up? Why is he now Peter?" Why are there now three bridesmaids in a wedding that was supposed to have eight? Where did Anna's sister go? You get the idea.
4) I hate the ending. Okay, I don't HATE it, but I'm not happy with it. It happens too quickly and easily, mostly because I was trying to get to 50,000 words while I wrote it. I'm also not sure whether this character should end up in a relationship or still single. I kind of want her to still be single, because it just seems more realistic, but this is not my life, it's a novel. And as much as I'd like it to be convincing that she can be happy and fulfilled and single, it's kind of depressing for her to go through everything that she does and still end up alone. So, yeah, the ending is not at all final at this point.
I have given the draft out to a few people to read and make comments. Editing by committee isn't necessarily a good idea, but they are a pretty broad range of readers, and I think it will be helpful to see what they have to say. I'll try to get another excerpt up soon.