I have sent the manuscript, after a developmental edit, back to the publisher for a content (grammar and spelling) edit, the next step. Only three more edits to go. The MS has been reduced by about 12% to 107K, some minor characters have been asked to seek employment elsewhere or saved for a subsequent book. The gray man has a little more flesh on him, as does the political skullduggery.
I think it is a large improvement. I asked the editors to be brutal. I have not taken a creative writing course in over 50 years.
I find that the IDEAS are fairly easy to come by. The PROSE is there as well. What I have lacked is the CRAFT and the editors at iUniverse have been kind enough (brutal enough) to provide that. My progress in the craft of writing surprises me.
Also surprisingly, the editors were all worried I would get miffed with the criticism.
I am not.
There is a saying in intensive care, I might have invented it myself: Death is a patient’s most sincere form of criticism.
Compared to that, dis ain’t nuttin.
I estimate 3-4 more months to publishing.