The Manuscript Blues

I have been working on a new series all year and I have the first two books written, though book two needs a little more work. This series has taken me a little longer because the books are longer – book one is 100,000 words, which may be a little too long. It’s also a slightly different genre. Still contemporary romance but with suspense elements thrown in.
My heroine has experienced some trauma in her life, and it is this that I’m having difficulty with.

The manuscript has been read in part by my critique group and by beta readers and I’m getting conflicting feedback. One group is saying my heroine needs to be more emotional, more damaged due to her trauma and another group saying she’s too traumatized.

So what to do?

  • Do I get some more feedback and hope it will weigh more on one side than the other?
  • Do I make a judgement call on my own?
  • Do I just give up?

OK that last one is something I’m never going to do!

What I am doing is reading the manuscript again. I’m highlighting the purpose of each scene, I’m making notes on where things can be cut and I’m really focused on the heroine and her reactions to events.

After this round of edits, I’m going to send it off to a structural editor and get his/her take on it. I’ve been sitting on this manuscript for too long. It’s time I made a decision and put it out there. Rereading it again has shown me that my writing has improved and the relationships in the story are strong. I need to let go of it and move on.

Wish me luck!