I finished the second draft of my first novel last night, and today I sent it to four close friends for review.
That means I'm getting there.
I cut out about 11,000 words from the draft and combined two chapters into one. Most of the cuts were made during the first half of the book, because I wanted to get to the key action faster. I've saved everything I cut, because I still liked most of it. I figure I can use it in a future project.
I look forward to seeing the reaction from my friends. I go back and forth on how I feel about the finished product. Today, I'm happy with it, so I'll try to hang on that.
In the end, I don't know if it's the book or it's my own fears and reservations that are holding me back. This novel has been such a labor for me, even before I began writing it Nov. 1. It's been on my mind and been building since the idea first came to me two years ago, and sharing it now with others is scary.
Putting it out there, though, is another big step, and one I had to take.