I did some work on my Bad Fairy project this weekend and dipping back into it reminded me VERY STRONGLY why I love this story and why I want it out there.
And the really effusive feedback I'm getting from my test readers is encouraging, so there's that.
I think there's still some work to do on the beginning of the book. Not just to tune it up, but to rethink my strategy entirely as to how I introduce this character. As many of you know, this was written as a sequel, but now I may be pitching the sequel as a first book (you know, with the option that they could always release the trilogy as I originally imagined), and the book has to be able to survive that. Right now, I think it does feel like a sequel in a way I don't really want it to.
Yes to making it seem like the character has plenty of history; I like the idea that readers are only seeing a piece of her life and aren't meant to fully process everything she's been through without context. I think the way she acts like she has a lot behind her can be carried forward as clear baggage without sounding too much like I'm a) rehashing what happened in the first book or b) focusing on establishing her past at the expense of her going forward.
No to extensive flashbacks, spending four chapters on casual exposition, and making the second book about the first instead of letting the events of the first be reflected clearly in the second.
I have a lot of work to do on it but sometimes when I step back into the story it becomes so clear why I wrote it and how much I expect my audience to enjoy it.
I really want to get that part done but it's intimidating sometimes. :(