My next book, that is. As Natalie Goldberg put it, my process is writing down the bones first. Then I go back and layer on muscles, tendons, organs, blood, guts, and, lastly, put on the skin that holds the thing together. Up until this week, Children of the Waters had a brain and lungs and a spleen (let's say), but it didn't really have a beating heart. I think it does now. (Whew!)
Going through the comments my editor made and really spending some quality time with my characters enabled me to find the heart and even the soul of my story. It was there in the pages, but not fully realized. What do I mean? There are a few key scenes that I hope will make readers feel the story and up until this week, you could read them and think, Wow, that's sad or have some other thought. But I don't think you'd feel the loss the way the characters did. Anyway, it's a big relief.
Speaking of finding heart, Cary Tennis of Salon offers some wonderfully refreshing advice for writers.