I gave myself a two-week break from writing before I started tackling the rewrite of Shady Palms. During that time, my friends have been chomping at the bit to read some of the story. After toying around with the idea, I handed them a copy of the first few chapters and a red pen. I told them that if they wanted to read it, they would have to do me a favor and help me edit. I asked them to go further than just catching typos, but to ask questions about the story.
Typically, an agent or publisher wants to read the first three chapters of a book before requesting the entire manuscript. I figured it would be best for me to polish those chapters before I continued with the rewrite. After listening to critiques from eight different people, I observed some them discovered the same problems and all of them had different insight into the story. In the end, they all craved to read the next chapter and they were disappointed when I told them they would have to wait.
I am happy to say I just finished rewriting the 2nd Draft of Part One. Not much changed other than I corrected a lot of bad grammar and added some more detail where I felt the story was still flat. In the end, the story grew by another 2500 words even though I swore I cut out a lot of redundant stuff.
If all goes well I should have Part Two completed in another three weeks. I have discovered that my brain can only process a certain amount of grammar before it goes into shutdown mode.
My goal is to have the 2nd Draft completed six months after I finished the 1st Draft. Maybe I will get inspired and knock it out in four months. Only time will tell.