This past weekend, I read Dead Harvest through for the first time, marking it up as I went in anticipation of the first serious polish. Since I'll be adding a B-story as I go, I expect it'll go through another polish once that draft is done, and then I'll pass it on to Katrina, my final arbiter as to whether or not it's any damn good. (As I've said before, she's pretty darn incapable of lying, so the fact that she's married to me aside, her read-through is a useful litmus test.)
Now, The Angels' Share went through several drafts before I was willing to show it to anyone (seven or eight, I think), and the editing process took damn near a year. This time, I'm shooting for a month or two, tops, and I think it's pretty doable. Why? Because when I wrote The Angels' Share, I really had no idea where a given scene should begin or end, and it took a lot of experimentation to really get it right. But even more importantly, during those early drafts, I had no faith in my own voice - I'd change words, phrases, even whole scenes in one draft, only to waffle and change them back in the next. This time around, I'm trying to trust in the fact that the me who wrote the scene had some idea what he was doing, and the me who's doing the editing is really no more qualified to make judgment calls with regard to usage or rhythm than he was. Simply put, structural stuff, typos, and continuity problems get changed. Matters of taste, not so much. Why? I guess because I think this story has some life to it, some spark. What I want to do is fan the flames, not blow it out.
Now, that's not to say The Angels' Share doesn't have spark, or that it would have been better off with less editing (it does, and it wouldn't have been, believe me). It's just that I learned a lot writing the last book, and I'd be a fool not to put that knowledge to good use.
Besides, if it sucks, one look at Kat's face should be enough to let me know...