The first round of edits for Closing Montage is done. The nice part about it being such a short novella is there wasn't a whole lot to be done there. Or, more importantly, there weren't many moments that made me go "oh god, I'm such an idiot," which might be a first. We might be able to do a release date at the end of this month, so stay tuned for news on that front.
Despite the edits not being too extensive, I still had to, you know, sit down and actually do them. Which turned out to be a little more challenging than usual. My family (the four Landens, plus my parents) is on vacation and...well, it hasn't been our smoothest trip. My parents own the house, so at least we're not out any money, and we're still managing to have fun. But some of the highlights of things not going well include both the washing machine and the central air dying, the worst thunderstorms this area has seen in years, and me getting an order for a crapload of work for the day job that seriously made me want to cry when I first saw it. (Yes, I brought my work stuff with me. Yes, that sometimes sucks.) I'm probably missing some things, but I think those are the worst. It'll all be fine eventually, though. And at least the torrential downpour meant there wasn't a whole lot to do, and I knocked out most of my work the other day.
Somewhere in all of this, I'm also still trying to work on my current project. I at least wanted to finish the significant chapter I'd been working on before we left, but though I came close, it didn't happen for various reasons. One of the reasons it's an important chapter is because a lot of the second half deals with how the hero, the POV character, views the heroine/eventual love interest/whatever you want to call her. (I have decided to call her Natalie. :P )
In some ways, Natalie has been proving more tricky to write than I first anticipated. Most of the time, writers want readers to fall in love with our main characters, or at least like them. And likeability is subjective, of course. Characters can't be perfect people, or else they'll be unrealistic, but too many flaws can make them off-putting. It's a hard balance to achieve.
So, Natalie: she's outgoing, bubbly, and has some hidden and not-so-hidden talents. It's also pretty obvious right from the first chapter that she's not making great life decisions and is setting herself up for disappointment. I wanted that particular conflict to be set up right away, but at the same time, I don't want her to come across as overly childish or naive, especially considering her other traits. In other words, while she's perky and optimistic (maybe even "cute"), I don't want her to come across as a blithering idiot. There's a fine line there. And all this is complicated by the fact that we're seeing her through the main character's eyes, and I don't want readers wondering why he's attracted to her in the first place.
I'll get there. She'll get there. We'll all get there. Ironically, in the beginning of this current chapter, I wrote about the characters doing laundry, so they're already ahead of me on that front.