I decided to be brave--I re-read my fourth draft. It's my best draft yet.
And still, it needs so much work (I was going to say sucks, but I'm thinking positively here).
The beginning is actually pretty good. The ending is not so bad. But the middle--ah, the middle is another story. No, really, it's another story. And that's the problem.
I drift off into some other world, along with my characters. Whole chapters go by where my characters do nothing but think. Characters get dropped or picked up out of nowhere. Still.
Sometimes I wish I had another weakness. Because if you're not so good at plot, that means you have to restructure entire novels when they fall apart. If you stink at say, description or grammar, it doesn't (usually) affect the whole novel very much.
But being good at character has its perks, though. My friend Kelley once said that you can fix almost anything else in a novel as long as you have good characters. And I think she's right. But in my case, I fix it, and fix it, and fix it, and fix it...
I know now, better than ever, what I need to do to fix things. There will still be some tearing apart. But right now, Rocky's worn out from all his fighting, and he just wants to towel off for a while. And, being the nice author I am, I think I'm going to let him.
But don't worry. Rocky's a fighter. He won't stay down for long.