Last Saturday, I brought a couple snippets of my newly transformed manuscript to critique group. Faithful blog readers will remember that my protagonist and his love interest changed places. This was the first time anyone had read the new stuff.
It was greeted with faint praise.
Of course I was discouraged.
Then I realized that I’d lapsed into polishing and tinkering, and the manuscript isn’t ready. The do-si-do draft (where the characters changed places) was a quantum-shift revision. I need to embark on another. My protagonist’s personality, which is completely different from my previous protagonist’s personality, must shine from every sentence.
Polishing and tinkering is simple, seductive and fast, so it’s easy to be lulled into revision complacency. I thank my critique group for waking me up and getting me back with the program.