Line edits on the first third of The Tethering are done! I still have to do the rest, but I’m 33.33% (repeating) done! Being done is a little scary. What if I missed something? I found a stray couch in this last round. I have no idea how the couch got into the office, but there it was. My beautiful chair had been replaced by a couch! How did I miss that before? What if I missed something else? Is there an end table lurking somewhere in the creases of my narrative waiting to jump out and ruin my book? What if someone tries to sit on something that doesn’t exist? I could have characters lying all over the floor!
But the editors seem to be very positive about everything. I got all sorts of smiley faces in the notes created by track changes. The only thing (other than errant furniture) that worried me was comments about my youngest character: a twelve-year-old girl named Claire who lives with teenagers and adults. She’s very smart and speaks above her age level. One of my editors loves Claire just as she is. The other worries that she sounds too old. I think Claire is what every preteen should be: smart, spunky, and a royal pain in the butt. But what if my readers hate Claire? What if they think she’s not realistic? Or worse yet, a pain in the butt in a negative way? How do I protect who Claire is while making sure my readers love her? Should I even worry about what they think of Claire? And when did I start freaking out about protecting my secondary characters from personal criticism?
Couches and Claire: two things I never thought I would have to worry about that now eat all my brain power. For now, I shall try to focus my nervous energy on finishing the line edits and getting my book into the hands of readers. Then I shall worry about Claire. She is in the sequel after all.