I really hoped and planned to get this novel onto Kindle and CreateSpace by the end of this month. It isn't going to happen, and not just because I've been too busy renovating my front room to design my cover and format my text.
It's not even that I've heard back from another beta reader, and it's clear that I'll have to make my main characters' basic motivations more convincing. And clean up some typos. And decide how much internal dialogue to put into third person indirect speech, or to cut altogether.
It's rather that, having allowed the manuscript to sit for several weeks, I'm seeing that the first part drags for sure and for real. My hero, especially, needs to be more proactive. It's true that at that stage his primary motivation is not to Defeat the Villain and Bring Down His Evil Plot for National Domination; he doesn't even know the villain has a plot for national domination. He just wants the creep to go away and let him do his work (architecture) in peace. But as I've written him now, too many times he deliberately ignores acts that all my betas saw as the villain's dirty deeds, regarding them instead as accident or coincidence. I thought this was signalling how dedicated he is to his work. "See what he'll put up with if he can just go on designing!" But it's only making him look like a thickheaded fool.
I've been wrestling with this problem for awhile, and to some extent, this "Hear no evil, see no evil" attitude truly reflects who my MMC is. For example, he'd definitely go out of his way to convince himself that the threatening note he receives isn't from the villain because he doesn't have time to deal with it. But after his apartment is burned out . . . is he really going to believe it was just a faulty space heater? All logic dictates that he'll decide the bad guy is behind it after all, and he'll have to try to do something about it and fail.
This will mean some major rewriting in some places. I think I can do it without messing up my story's timeline or major plot points. But it will take more than the next nine days.