Here's the part that might sound familiar: Every time I go through this draft I can cut. A line or two of flabby dialogue here, a lazy descriptive passage there. A better joke here, a more Zeus-like bolt there.
Cutting isn't for everybody all the time, and I know I'm the Surgeon of St. Paul during residencies. But this book just can't be rotund. Colleen's charm is too atomic, Ben isn't the kind of narrator to stand and gaze.
For anybody thinking of submitting a ms., here's a new way to think about the first pages, the ones that are so important. Forget about content and think only of velocity. Try it and let me know what happens.
P.S. I'm looking for a title for STONER2. Any suggestions? The winner gets credit on the dedication page.