I don't read my books once I finish writing them.
Strange to say, but I just don't. I mean, I have the whole story in my head, it's part of me by then.
I decided to read "Takeover" from cover to cover. Just read it. No pressure, just enjoy. I have three days so no hurry. No intention of making changes unless they leap out at me.
Got to page 50 and found myself drifting. Sure enough, when I took a close look at the chapter I was reading, realized that the second half of it wasn't necessary. Cut it instantly.
Then took a break.
Will read at least another 35 pages tonight. Figure I'll take three days to read the whole thing, or about 85 pages per night, maybe a little faster, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself.
Read to page 98. It works. The first fifty pages are still awkward, but also the basis for the entire book. The reader will need to invest, but I don't think it is all that onerous. The character sketches are snappy and interesting, I think, in and of themselves.
It's clear which chapters were new--they needed a little more polishing. Which makes sense. I'm very decisive with editing nowadays. I see something, I just do it, try not to second guess.
I found a few continuity errors, which isn't surprising considering how much I've moved things around, and an amazing number of copy-edit errors, considering how many times this has been edited. Then again, I've been messing with it. Copy errors just always seem to slip through...
Woke up this morning and read the same 98 pages again, this time making changes that I hadn't quite been ready to make last night. (If it struck me wrong twice the same way, it was time to change.)
Tonight I'll try to read another 100 pages or so, then go over them again tomorrow.
Didn't read any further yesterday, instead moved a chapter and inserted the chapter lines. The chapters aren't strictly necessary, but as a reader I think I would appreciate them, as break points, otherwise it's a bit overwhelming.
Adding the new first chapter is a gamble; it's hard to know if it helps or hurts, but ultimately I decided that starting a book with a chapter about the desert dust and mud probably isn't the way to go. So I added one of the more dramatic action chapters to the beginning as a flash-forward.
So today and tomorrow, I read the rest of the book.
3 days ago