So after getting my third novel, River of Hell (working title that is very much likely to be changed) back from being beta-read, I’m one step closer to publishing it. It still needs a lot of work, though. Once I overhaul the major problems that need fixing, I still need to have it read again, proofread, fix spelling/grammar mistakes, and also work on a cover/new title.
I’ve always been happy that my first two novels have titles that haven’t really been used by other books, since it makes them super easy to Google for. But even if I can’t come up with a unique title, I can at least try to come up with something more interesting than “River of Hell” which is just kinda dull, even if it does describe the basic setting in the story.
For the most part, the complaints I got primarily revolved around the protagonist not being proactive enough, and a few minor nitpicks about secondary things, as well as some pacing issues that I need to cut into for the first 1/3 of the story. (And amusingly, some of my adjective use was nitpicked as being too ‘HP Lovecraft’ which is funny since I’ve never really read that guy’s stuff.) Overall, it’s weaker than my first novel, Realm Wraith, primarily because of pacing and a weaker protagonist. That’s why having feedback from other people is important; I really glossed over the pacing stuff, and the protagonist didn’t seem all that weak to me. But after having it pointed out I can see the problems, and talking it out with people really helps give a sense of purpose to fixes. It’s less having others dictate what I write, and more not working in a vacuum, and hopefully, the novel will be much stronger for it.
Of course once all that is said and fixed and published, there’s still the matter of looking ahead. This story universe is one that I like to write about, and while this novel can very easily just be the end of it, it doesn’t have to be. I have a number of other half-finished/in need of editing stories I’ve written with these characters in this universe. So I guess I’ll see after I’m done with this where I want to go, if I want to publish other stories in a different setting, or continue more stories in this one.