I've gotten a lot of feedback on my story. My readers have been fantastic, offering suggestions, asking questions, and making corrections to typos and grammatical errors. So far the changes have been pretty painless.
I think perhaps the most significant changes have been adding a paragraph here or there to help explain who someone was or what happened to them. I also removed a needless sub-plot that really had NOTHING to do with the story.
I've thought long and hard on the idea of removing the sex and violence. After some thought, I've decided it's staying. If I can't sell this as a paranormal romance, I'll self-publish because this is the story I wanted to tell. It's dark and ugly in spots, but I think it's dark and ugly because it needs to be. Demons aren't nice. For that matter, man can be downright wicked and evil, too. Since this story focuses so much on redemption and forgiveness, I think I'd be plucking out the very threads that provide the contrast needed for this story to work.
This doesn't mean I didn't soften a little bit of the language in spots. I decided I didn't need to be crude in order to get the point across. So, some of the more offensive terms have been removed or replaced with more acceptable verbiage.
What really amazed me, though, has been the number of typos and errors! I went through this with my little red pen. I really did. Really. So how is it that each reader has been able to point out mistakes I missed? What's even more amazing is that they aren't even pointing out the same mistakes! What one reader missed, another would find.
And I love each and every one of them for being such careful and thoughtful readers! This book is probably the best copy I've ever produced. Of course, this could be because this also happens to be the first novel I've been determined to get as close to "perfect" as I possibly can.
So, in addition to bringing my few faithful readers up-to-date on my writing, this is also a shout out to my readers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!