Finally! The first draft of Concealed in Ash that I am willing to let anyone read is finished and in the hands of my spouse. I've done my happy dance.(Be grateful that you didn't have to witness that. I dance nearly as bad as I sing.)
Now comes part two of my writing process. I emailed the draft to Sarah. She will look it over for spelling and grammar errors, then together we will take this draft to a print shop to be printed and bound.
This is our read-aloud copy. Together we will be spending several days reading and listening to my words. We'll question word choices, and occasionally I'll exclaim "What was I thinking?" or "That was awkward." Mostly we will read and talk about improvements that need to be made before anyone else looks at my book.
Sarah is a great reader. If she stumbles or has to go back and look at another page, I know that I have work to do. That work isn't done while we're reading. All the way through, red marks are made on pages, notes are scribbled in the margin. By the end, our bloody fingerprints are all over my newborn baby.
When the reading is finished, it will be time for me to go back to the text and make those marked changes. It is perhaps the hardest part of my writing process. I can always disagree with the changes an editor tells me to make, but facing what I see wrong with my baby takes guts. It is particularly hard when a passage of good writing has to be cut because it just doesn't belong.
If I am brave enough to do this next part well, Concealed in Ash will be ready to face its next test...Beta Readers.