Another week, another draft. This one (my fourth) is 78,637 words (287 pages at 12pt TNR). The real news is that The Angels' Share is officially as good as I can make it on my own. Today, I'm heading out to print it, and handing it over to my wife.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Wives and mothers are not to be trusted when it comes to critiquing one's writing. But there are a few mitigating factors at play here.
1) My wife is a brilliant writer, with a hell of an eye for grammar. Whatever I might have missed, she will not.
2) She's read more mysteries than any ten other people. If I'm treading a path well-traveled, she'll be sure to notice. Which brings me to...
3) She is a horrible liar. Seriously, you should see it. I've never met anyone so incapable of deception. Sure, she'll try, but somewhere between her brain and her mouth, things get tangled, and what comes out is either a nonsensical string of half-finished sentences and irrelevant details or, well, the truth. So if my book sucks, she might not tell me so, but I'll get the message nonetheless.
4) She's darn cute. That doesn't have anything to do with my book, really, but I thought it should be known I married up.
Add to that the fact that she's the last roadblock between my book and the rest of the world, and she's got all the incentive she needs to be brutally honest. After all, good book or bad, she's stuck with me.