I finished my first read today over lunch. For those who don't write, a first read is when you pore over your first draft after it's been sitting for awhile. In this case, Earth has been sitting on my hard drive for about a month now, and during that time I was working on another project (you'll hear more about this later). A month was long enough for me to pretty much forget the details of the story and all of the agony that went into producing it. This is crucial because it allows me to come back to it as a reader rather than as an author.
And the good news: I like it. A lot. Sure, there are tons of things for me to fix before it goes to the next phase (beta readers), but not so many that it looks impossible, as has happened with some of my other stories. What's different? Several things. To start with, I wrote the ending first. My goal was to avoid the inevitable rush at the end, the point at which I'm sick to death of a story and I blast something out knowing full well I'll have to rewrite it. That's a recipe for long nights and lots of hair pulling. To do that though, I needed to know where I was starting. That meant lots and lots of mind-mapping and outlines. More than I've ever done before.
Next up is the second draft. I'm heading over to Starbucks in a few minutes, where I'll grab a table and camp out for a few hours and enter my notes into Scrivener and get ready to tackle the task ahead.
Stay tuned! Only a few more months!