HHNF beta feedback? – mostly cosmetic!

after quite some time away, i’ve finally compiled all the feedback from the beta readers for HHNF and typed up the majority of the edits. it took a couple days to get through them all, and it could easily start to feel like death by a thousand cuts, but it never did because these ‘cuts’ were overwhelmingly mechanical edits (extra spaces, double commas, typos, et cetera), and i’m quite happy with that.

there are several dozen outstanding items i’ve flagged for further consideration having to do with word choice in dialogue or organization of a scene. in each case, i can see the reader’s reason for making the edit/suggestion, but now i must take some time to get back into that passage and see what fits best for each item. this is where the give and take of editing is the most difficult and, i think, powerful. whether or not i choose to make a change, i have been challenged to determine what i think is the best answer, and i force myself to answer for it.

thank you to all who have shared your thoughts on my work.

finally, there are two larger items that have been raised. one is an out and out plot flaw, involving a complete oversight on my part (a weapon that shouldn’t have been in Kelly’s possession is used to some effect in a scene). The other is a bit more nuanced, but no less important. in the latter case, i have a few options, while the former has only two (1: revise earlier loss of weapon, or 2: revise later scene to work without weapon). even as i write this, i realize which is the better answer (#2) and why (it’s more interesting and more real), so i’m looking forward to that revision. that should be some good fun.

not a bad start to the new year.

oh, one more thing: i don’t think i mentioned it before, but an agent who passed on NGD just before the holidays has allowed me to send the first 5 pages of HHNF to see if they spark any more interest. this is not a normal experience for me with agent rejections, but there was something in the letter that implied there really was some interest so i ran with it and she has the HHNF pages now. of course, there are no guarantees, but it feels like a step for me to realize that i don’t necessarily have to take ‘No’ for an answer, regarding rejections. Really, the worst that can happen is the agent says ‘No’ again, and hey, far worse things have happened.