Also, [deep sigh] it created a lot of work.
Basically, there was some bloat, and some unnecessary drama. The theme was a little on the weak side.
It's hard to hear criticism about your creative work, even if you asked for it. I had to sit with it for a little while. But the more I thought about it, the more it became apparent that I had a good story, it just needed to lose some weight.
I re-evaluated. I took all the pieces apart and examined which of them were absolutely, positively doing their jobs in the book. Those got put back. The rest got put in a file that I can open and visit sometime.
I ended up writing a new intro (first few chapters), rethreading the first half and rewriting the second half. I cut an entire group of characters because their involvement was fuzzy. I changed the primary setting for the bulk of the book. I answered questions that I had been uncertain how I would answer. There's still some questions at the end of the book (the good kind!) but I know the answers now and how Phoebe will find them. That's a much better place than I was in before. When I'm writing the story and I don't even know how to answer the questions, that's not a good thing. [insert embarrassed face here]
I think the book is more exciting, more clear, and has a NEW and IMPROVED twist at the end! It also sets up book 2 EVEN BETTER.
Made it a goal to write here more often, so look for more angst filled ramblings as publishing draws near, 'kay?