Here we go! Just got notes from my editor, +Mark Teppo on the first seven chapters of Heraclix & Pomp. I've only briefly perused them at this point, but I can already appreciate how Mark is able to figuratively pull me back from the novel's plot and characterization to see some mechanical problems that I have entirely missed. Because of this, he's able to point me to some specific moments, words, and sometimes entire paragraphs that just plain don't work. This is exactly what I need right now. I've become so enmeshed in the characters and their story that it's difficult for me to take several steps back, as I should, and look at the overall elements of construction to see where things may have gone awry.
Since the story is told from multiple POVs, it's important to get the right emphasis at the right time. This is difficult to see when one is in the middle of writing. This is particularly true because Heraclix and Pomp both have some very powerful personalities. Once I'm in Pomp's head, for example, I don't want to leave it because she's not a natural fit to my way of thinking. I have to work at trying to see things from her perspective. So there are times when I "bleed" a little too much like Pomp. I try to stay in her POV too long, because I'm not looking forward to the effort of getting back into her head once I leave. I feel that I can pop into Heraclix's POV a lot easier, but with his complex history, I have to be very careful to not reveal things that he does not yet know about himself. But that's a problem that is more easily solvable, so long as I carefully map what he knows and when he knows it (or doesn't), and write accordingly. Unfortunately, I find it all too easy to slip into my "dark" character's heads. In fact, when the book is finally done, you'll notice that Pomp provides a strong counterpoint to my usual, admittedly dark, fictional writing. I think you're going to like her . . . and Heraclix . . . and the other evil, good, and ambiguously-aligned characters they encounter.
So, consider this a shout-out to excellent editors and the work they put in to helping writers present their material in the best way possible. It's difficult for us writers to check our egos at the door, but with the right editor, auctorial humility makes for a much better reading experience for our readers. And isn't that the end goal, to share a piece of us in such a way that people can understand and appreciate the journey we've already undertaken?