Well, well. It appears that when I wrote my first, greatest story, I was not writing as well as I could have been. To be polite.
It’s as if I decide a character feels a particular emotion in a scene and I say so, but then I keep saying the character has that emotion, just in case the reader missed it the first (seven) times.
Help me. It hurts.
Other things are wrong too. Harder to identify things, but it feels as if the writing wanders, as if everyone is emoting everywhere all the time (and these are different emotions, not just the ones I mention twenty-four times on one page), and (whisper it) I don’t like the character as much as I did.
I worked on this manuscript for A THOUSAND YEARS (give or take), and I rewrote it approximately thirty times, and it was critted all over the place, and I even paid a developmental editor (not Teresa) to edit it.
And it’s still bad.
My conclusion (and, yes, there is one! Who’d have guessed?) is that in the two years since I abandoned querying this ms and decided to work on other things, writing other manuscripts has taught me so much more about writing than editing and re-editing the same thing in a constant loop.
It makes a difference to write something new from scratch. It makes a difference to see the world through the eyes of a different character.
Really, though, I am so grateful I can see these flaws. I’m sure there are lots I can’t see, because I haven’t yet reached that level, but I must have learned something in the last two years, and re-reading this manuscript makes that quite obvious. Yey!