I got a great letter back from my agent. She has a few more changes for my novel, all which make complete sense. Part of her advice is to scale the age down even further. I was walking a 'tween' line which makes it hard to market, and therefore sell. Solidly MG or YA is the way to go. I'm going MG so need to make that more clear.
I know it seems like I've been working on this novel forever, but if you've been following that's exactly what you should know about writing. This is HARD work. Really hard work. Like nothing I've ever done before in my life. And it takes SO much time.
I sometimes wonder if I could go back and visit the me just starting in this business if I could talk me out of it. But then I think 'nah.' There's no way I could get across just how hard this is, and now I'm in way too deep to stop.
Of course, I don't mind editing. In fact, I like it better than writing. Because getting that first draft down is rough. And it's proving it to me once again as I start book #2. So it's almost a relief to get to bury myself back in edits on book #1 once more. And hang out with my characters again. I really do adore them.
But yeah, the book is not ready to go out to publishers yet, although I'm danged close. No point in sending it out until its perfect though. I get one shot. Over two years of work so far on this novel (with eight years before it learning how to write) for one shot. It better be right.