Today the fabulous C.A. Marshall sent me her thoughts on my book. If you don't remember, I won her contest last month (I still haven't stopped smiling about it). She brought up some very good points, things that made me slap my forehead and go "duh! Why didn't I see that?"
That's the thing about writing, for me at least. I get so wrapped up in the world I'm making that I forget some of the obvious parts of the story. And I know this world, I've dreamed it, I've imagined myself living in it. I know every single detail. But sometimes I forget to share said details with the readers!
Outside opinions, especially those of generous freelance editors, really help you see what else you have to do for your book, which must be cajoled, scolded, worked on diligently, ignored, stripped down to the bare essentials and rebuilt from the foundation up, given up on in disgust only for you to wait nervously by the phone for it to call begging for help, and allowed back in, coddled, because it is your baby.
A good critique is worth its weight in gold. Plus about four hundred dollars because it's actually weightless.