I read my novel today. It took a few hours and I sped through some parts (unfortunately very easy to do with words you wrote), but I’ve already noticed some things, and found two scenes I want to scrap and rewrite completely.
First, the good:
Some parts made me chuckle, and there are a few scenes which are very good. Additionally, my one big concern, the sudden romantic shift at the end, isn’t as nonsensical as I thought, when I actually read the whole thing. Things need to be changed, but it’s touchup and scene modification, not major surgery.
My antagonist sucks. I developed a good one, Colin, but then the focus shifts to Ollie, who is both a cardboard cutout and a cliche. I don’t want to change that shift, but I need to develop Ollie as a character. I have a few ideas for this, including changing Scott and Colin’s relationship so that the antagonistic focus shifts before Colin’s exit.
There are at least two scenes that need fairly complete rewrites. The first party scene I’m cutting and replacing with something else, because it takes impact away from the big party scene. Along those lines I need to consider how to differentiate the two ‘big weekend’ parties…they both have their place, but they need to be more different for the scene to have impact. Additionally, the last gunfight is both lacking in suspense, and really cartoonish with the body armor and all that bullshit…I’m going to cut it and replace it with something grittier.
As a final note, one of the sex scenes doesn’t need to be replaced, but it needs to be rewritten so that it makes more sense with the character. Right now it’s a little jarring.
I have my work cut out for me. I’m not going to show the story to anyone else until I finish a full pass…for each night this week, I’m going to try and finish one scene a night (I added scene cuts to aid in this process) or more, until I’ve gotten through the book. I know things will be improved after the first pass, but I guess I’ll have to determine if they’re good enough to let other people rip it apart.