In an attempt to fully determine if I was crazy or not, I sent out When the Black Roses Grow to a few beta readers to test the waters, so to speak. I wanted to see what their reaction was after reading it.
Would they think the same as me—what was the point of this novel? Would they think the characters are as flawed as I do? Did they find any plot holes, unanswered questions, or confusing parts? Did my heroine seem to wishy-washy and in an annoying sort of way?
While I knew I needed to table the novel, deep down, I really didn’t want to do it. I always had a nagging feeling that the premise was strong, it just needed something I couldn’t give it…at that moment. However, with that said, I wondered, I don’t know how many times, if time away from it or the perspective of someone other than myself might change that.
I mean, everyone who knows even a smidge about the premise is telling me they can’t wait for it. So, does that mean that I’m thinking too much about it? Am I being too critical of myself and what I’ve done with it?
Quite possibly, yes. I do have that nasty habit.
And, wouldn’t ya know that when the results came pouring in, of course, the beta readers all loved the novel.
Of course, they had a few questions and suggestions, which are quite easy fixes, really. The characters are sound and developed and pretty much all my concerns are unfounded. It lacks any plot holes, the characters and story unfold in a perfect pace and aside from grammar (which let’s face it, I’m not very good at), the whole novel is “another amazing book”.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled with this new found knowledge. It’s exactly what I wanted to hear. Well, sort of. I mean, now I have to wonder what in the blue heck is wrong with me that I can’t see it for what others see it as, but that’s a whole other point. And, one I might never understand, other than the simple fact that I need to just tell my inner critic to shut-up.
Anyway, the point is, apparently I have misjudged my own work. Perhaps the little time away from it helped, perhaps hearing the opinion of another regarding it helped, or perhaps, I just plain need my head examined, but whatever the case, I’m going to give this novel another shot, and maybe, just maybe, I can finally be happy with it.
In the end, I hope to have it to my editor by the end of the month. While I’d love to publish it myself through Long Valley Press as I planned on doing with my titles, I still am gathering the funds for the whole process. With Christmas just last month and the dreaded IRS 2015 Federal taxes looming in the coming months, self publishing my first title is going to have to take a back seat until (hopefully) my fourth manuscript.