There is always a moment when writing a book, you know -- it is not going to get any better and it had best take its chances. This has happened to me. My Romano British mystery is now about as good as it is going to get and needs to take its chances once again in the cruel world.
Where as before I had the nagging suspicion I was missing something, this time I am pretty proud of it. The work I did with the Donald Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, I think paid off. Plot layering, upping the stakes, making sure tension exists on every page, creating meaningful subplots and looking for connections between characters is not easy but it is essential.
After dealing with the proofs for The Lady Soldier, I now know to proofread my work with a ruler. Simply using my eye, does not work. It is too easy not to focus on the little words. A ruler helps me focus on the exact line I am proofing.
While I wait for an answer, I am not taking a break. My muse is already whispering to me. But I also get the enjoyable task of researching a new era and reacquainting myself with the area around Newcastle. Easter holidays are going to be spent -- revisiting old sites with a new eye.
Off to a brainstorming 101 session