I've been struggling for far too long to get Honor Bound to the point where I think it's ready for publication or submission to an agent/editor. I feel like there's something inherently wrong with it, but I can't seem to put my finger on what the problem is.
I ended up printing out the entire manuscript (all 300 plus pages) and giving it to a friend who is a voracious reader of all types of genres. She's going to read it and let me know her thoughts. Although she's a friend, she's also very honest in her opinions when you ask her for them. The last time I asked her to look over a short story I'd written, she gave me back two typed pages of things she either didn't like, didn't understand in terms of how important they were to the story, didn't think belonged in the story, or thought could be expanded on or written better.
She is guessing it will probably take her a month to get it done as she works full time and has a family. Also she usually reads the story twice, jotting down things that catch her eye or trip her up as she goes. I'm hoping a fresh set of eyes looking at the story will help pinpoint what the issue is that's making me feel the way I do.
While she is going over Honor Bound, I've started revising/editing the second book in the series. I'm also hoping that working on the next book might help me realize what's missing/wrong with the first one.