Well, people did not exactly swarm out of the woodwork to give me feedback on Chapter 1. But that's okay. I've only had this blog a few weeks, and I'm not a famous author who everyone is dying to get close to. Yet. But the one comment I did get was very helpful. As I've mentioned, I've done a lot of revising on this novel, have rewritten the whole thing several times over. Apparently a few surgical scars remain. I will have to go back and change a word here and there to conceal them.
Getting a fresh pair of eyes on your work is always important. You get so close to your writing that it is near impossible to see what may be right in front of your face after a while. Also, if, like me, you've cut things out, added new things in, changed the order of events or anything like that, it's difficult to remember exactly what is in this version of the book. A fresh pair of eyes can point out where you mention something that you've never mentioned before, an inconsistency you may not have noticed.
So, even now, with what I consider a completed manuscript, I will be revising. A book isn't finished until it is printed, bound and on the shelf. I know that. Once you land that elusive agent, they will probably ask you to revise some more. Then if your book sells to a publisher, there will be more editing. And more editing. And then probably a bit more. So, revision is important, and if you're not willing to do it, I'd suggest giving up on being a writer.
For those of you who are revising, I heard yesterday about a contest where the prize is a substantial manuscript edit by a professional editor. I know I'm going to try to win it, but are you? Here's the link: http://www.camarshall.com/2010/06/celebrate-with-me-free-substantial-edit.html
Big thanks to Janice for her comments. I'm off to switch some words around now, to see if I can clean up those little messy bits.