As you know, I’ve been revising A Lovely Dream for the past couple of weeks. Yesterday, I had a revelation. The first half of the book has a totally different feel to it then the second, and this book could actually be two books. The first half of A Lovely Dream is about Michael and Seneca, their troubled pasts, and their relationship and plans for how to deal with things in their future. In the second half, Michael’s former life as a spy leads to danger and death. It threatens to destroy their lives and everything they’ve worked to accomplish as a couple and through John’s Place, the business Michael started to help veterans and their families. So, A Lovely Dream is now going to be the first half of the existing book. The second half is going to be called A Lovely Reality. So, I have the original book and now a sequel. I am SO excited!
I always felt like there was something not quite right with draft that had the potential to be a great book. Now I know what it is. I have been having a blast with my Delete key working on the first half of the book and taking out what I perceived as extraneous things. Betas had commented that they liked the book but had varying opinions as to why they didn’t think it quite worked for them. Some loved it as it was. However, I felt like something wasn’t right and was glad for the confirmation of my unease. I don’t typically share my thoughts with betas on their specific comments unless they make a remark about something that is completely incorrect. I so value the input of my beta readers, and I do discuss things with them but only if I have a question or if one person totally missed something obvious. In those instances, I will refer her back to whatever she missed so as to clear up her confusion. Otherwise, I review comments and questions when I’m doing my revisions and see what is valid and what is one reader’s opinion. If multiple betas have the same opinion or question, then I should pay attention! If one out of a dozen has a problem with something or if she herself simply disagrees for personal reasons, then I’m disinclined to act, although I take her comments into consideration.
So, the input I got for A Lovely Dream was different from each reader but left me knowing that there was a fundamental problem with this draft. I had that “Eureka!” moment yesterday when I realized what it was. I will continue to work on my revision, but I will now stop two chapters from where I am and end the book. Then, I’ll begin revision work on the sequel I didn’t know was within the original work. It will be much better and have a much greater impact. How lovely.