I just spoke with my friend Char, a little while ago, and learned she's coming up to visit me tomorrow. This makes me very happy. She's been gone all summer (something about spending time with her family or something frivolous like that), so it's been ages since she's come for one of her stays. I just need to get her bed all made up.
While she's up here I hope to get my rewrite of Magic's End done so I can resubmit it to The Leading Edge. Rewrites are near impossible to do without a proofreader. Most proofreaders come and go. It takes a lot of time, and I've been lucky to have a lot of people drop in and out of my life that are willing to put in that time for a while. That second pair of eyes and alternate perspective make a huge difference. Char's stayed on for a very long time, ever since we were roommates back in the day. Somehow, I haven't scared her off with bad writing, and I used to think that it was because she had this odd contradiction in her reading - the ability to recognize good prose and no aversion to bad prose whatsoever. However, I did manage to loan her a book that was bad enough that she despised it (I didn't write it), so never mind her not having an aversion to bad prose. She must just really like me or something.
The novel's at 44,000 words, for what it's worth (out of 60-70k). There's no way I'll keep all of them, as it's going to need some extensive rewriting. I set the second act in a different setting than the first and third, so I need to figure out how to balance the three out without the second act looking like this huge digression. I expect that the way I should do this is with rigorous plot interconnections, have the second act story arc reflected again and again in the third act, have the first and third act characters interacting with my main character as much as possible throughout the second act, that sort of thing. That's what I'll try first, at least.