I got another critique back on House of Cards from one of my betas. I am amazed (and grateful) at how much work and effort she put into it. Woman has some sort of internal Geiger counter for accidental POV shifts and passive voice boo boos that no one else caught. So even though I’ve already thanked her in email, here’s my big public THANK YOU to Jen Hendren for being a beta for me. She had a lot of useful suggestions and points. It was especially helpful having someone who knew absolutely nothing about the story to read it because there was some question about whether the identify of the bad guy was obvious or not and those of us who thought it was were all way too close to the story to be good judges.
She brought up a number of points that I thought about myself while writing the last quarter of the book. I had a point in there where I considered stopping what I was doing and making another massive revision in order to even further amp up the suspense plot from earlier in the book. But I opted to go ahead and finish what I had started, mostly just to prove that I could. This particular book sat for so long, through so many drafts, and I wanted to finish a draft just on principle before I opted to go back and totally redo it again. I’ve been making a loose sort of list of things I’d like to change–headed up by the final confrontation scene and the very end. But I think after looking over some of the nits and points Jen made, that I will wind up making those big, broad, sweeping changes I thought about back in August or whenever. It will be a much better book for it in the end and now I know that it has and end. Even if it isn’t the one I wrote originally.
That having been said, I won’t be starting on that until probably February. I don’t want to get out of my zone for my current Sweat project. I’d like to get through a full draft of it before I go back and start rewriting (yes, rewriting, not revising) House of Cards. HOC is much darker in tone than Til Death, and I don’t want to change the tone of my current piece by accident. And I really need the time and distance from HOC. I just couldn’t see it clearly by the end anymore (hence the fairly blah ending that I never much liked). I’m getting closer. I don’t know whether I will reread it again before I start rewriting or if I’ll write with a rather blank slate. The name of the game will be simplify and streamline. Eliminate unnecessary characters, plotlines, and scenes. And yes, dare I say it? Outlining. Blah. I’ll probably use Text Block Writer like I did for my current project. Big loose outline rather than very specific blocking like the Novel Notebook. But we’ll see how I feel about it in January. Hopefully by then I’ll have gotten back my last two beta crits and will have even more to think about.