I am going to reveal to you the secret to all of my writerly success.
I do everything a writer is suppose to do. I write daily. I edit what I write. I have my work critiqued by good beta readers.
I rewrite and revise.
I reconsider, and sometimes I start over.
While all of the above is important, it's only as important as this one final thing that each of my manuscripts has to go through before I can call it ready.
It has to be read aloud to me by my wife.
Nothing makes my book sing, or otherwise, like when I'm hearing it being read by Kel.
I can tell instantly what works and what doesn't.
I can tell what she likes and doesn't.
And just in case I miss it, she tells me what she likes and doesn't.
I can revise a manuscript 100 times, but it's not done until after this step. There's just something about the way it sounds coming from her that makes me know better than any other test whether the thing is ready or not.
My current novel-in-progress, Good Night to the Rock and Roll Era, is 545 pages.
We've read 139 pages aloud so far, with 406 to go. Kel's a trooper, but I can't help but feel guilty for making her read such a long book out loud. I'll try to make the next one shorter, but I can't promise.
I did just start Infinite Jest. Let's hope I don't get any crazy ideas.
Yours in laying down the law,
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