It has somehow been nearly a month since I last posted, claiming I would be resuming active work on the novel. And I have! Yay, me.

I took that small-fonted, thin-margined printout I mentioned last time, and read it cover to cover. I found a few consistency issues, some ways to trim it down a little, and bunch of little typos. I marked those in pen on the printout, and am about 70% of the way through fixing them in the manuscript. That separation of reading from writing, of not being able to edit it as I find issues, definitely helps me focus. Having a full printout was nice, but I’ll probably go back to PDFs for the next pass. Using even the minimal paper I squeezed this onto still makes me feel too guilty.

I have a couple of things going on the critique front: the critique partner I’ve been working with is willing to try switching gears to higher level beta-reading. I also signed up for Scribophile, and have poked around a little to learn how it works. Their system of “karma” and various kinds of “spotlights” seems overly complicated, to the point that I’m surprised there are so many people on there, seeming to know how it all works.

I also received the critique I bought with my entry in the Writers’ League Manuscript Contest. I haven’t fully processed that yet, but it pointed to more work on the opening scene along the lines of what I’ve heard from others. Which I thought I’d addressed, ha ha, but that’s okay.

That critique also reinforced a realization I had during my own recent re-read: the genre for this thing isn’t urban fantasy, despite its occult magical aspects, it’s more of a thriller! My confusion about the genre has been nagging at me for a while, so I’m really glad to have finally realized this.

I’ve done pretty well at spending at least a brief time each day working on this (80% over the past 30 days, according to Streaks), and that’s been a big boost to a feeling of momentum. There’s a long way to go, but I’m going.