Something something learning experience

It’s July, the gooseberries are ripening, so self, START WEARING GLOVES for the love of all that’s good and holy. Every time I go out to harvest I’m like “oh, I’ll be careful” and come back in looking like a pack of cats went to town on my arm, because it’s a big overdue-for-pruning maze of extremely thorny stems with berries hidden underneath. But after all that I have berries to show for it, so. Um. Let’s call it even?

All of the beta reads are done, except for the very last read-through requested by my spouse. All were fantastically helpful, and I’m making edits based on recurring comments and good ideas all around.

Currently, that means weeding out the pack of side characters, combining six characters into three by cutting the three that had the least to do. It’s gratifying because I always enjoy editing, but it’s also a strange feeling to go through a story and make some of the people in it not exist. Like, they used to. I gave them lines and names and a little bit of backstory. But in the end they didn’t contribute much to the plot, and so when it’s done… they were never there at all.

I’ll probably recycle the names and concepts for later stories, especially if we come back to this setting. In the meantime, their bits in the story are being handed off to the other three side characters. Which is strengthening the remaining three, I think. It should be interesting to see how that works. I haven’t really tried it before.

Still aiming for the end of August as my personal goal, and I think I can make it. Onward and upward.