Several of my readers have got back to me by now, the latest being my friend Dan out in California, and a pattern seems to be emerging: the ending doesn’t really work, Martha’s not sufficiently sympathetic, the first third is excellent, but then it loses momentum towards the end of the middle, we need more on Thomas and Henry’s shared past, Father Timmon speaks like a Bond villain, parts of the back story are unintelligible, etc.
But. Everybody who’s read it thus far has torn through it, reading it in one or two sittings. They’re surprised by the right things, creeped out at the right points, and seem to really like the characters. They’ve proven unable to predict the plot, and any disappointment they felt was commensurate to the high expectations the book set up at the get go. Which… are all good things.
I’m about 65% there, I think. I’m going to need to do one more major rewrite. I hope that in the future, when I write my second book, the first draft will come out at 65% done already, and not at the 40% where Crude Sunlight weighed in at. But that, I believe, has to do with practice and experience. The ideas I have. The characters live and breath in my mind. I just need to work on getting them onto paper in one piece.
I’m waiting for one more review to come in, and then I’m going to roll up my sleeves and enter the world of Crude Sunlight once more. Hopefully, if things go well, and my mind’s in the write place, it’ll be my last serious visit. And then? If people like it? Well, then we’ll just have to see.