I’m on schedule for finishing my Alpha Edit of Spell/Sword before July 1st — my personal printer [aka my mom] is waiting to print copies for my crack team of Alpha Readers.
Editing is like painting with sand — everything you do changes the landscape, and draws into question things that you once considered granite-bedrock of your fiction.
I’ve spent a lot of time just sparring with anxiety. Am I editing too fast, too slow? Are the changes I’m making good — are they bad? Why aren’t there more minotaurs?
I’m terrified of getting overzealous and damaging the heart of the work — I’m terrified of not doing enough and leaving cancers to grow and fester in the lines and pages of the book.
I do think it’s time to crack the door open and let some other eyes prowl over the pages. I’m restricting my Alpha Readers to 10, half male, half female — and a pretty even spread of reader-types, and writers that I respect. After they get done, and give me some feedback, and I can stop crying — I’ll get back to work on a Beta Draft for the final round of 5 readers — my toughest critics: my girlfriend, a world-renowned Shakespearean scholar, a playwright, and the cruelest douchebag I can find.