I have completely finished revisions on the first chapter of my novel.
This may seem like it's not a big deal. It may also seem like this should have been done a long time ago. I had, in fact, finished revisions for the first chapter a little while back, but despite my best intentions, I had left a few things to finish up at a later date. A later date probably would have been much later if a writer friend of mine hadn't invited me to join his critique group: Suddenly I needed something ready to critique.
Now I generally don't let anyone read my writing in rough draft form. I did let my husband, Michael, read some of Pandora's Box when it was in its early stages -- the first chapter or two, I think, plus some other scenes I'd jotted down that were to appear later in the novel (I write things down if I get ideas for them, no matter where I'm at in the novel at the time). He hasn't read anything since, though, and that was probably two years ago.
In other words, other than Michael's brief glimpse two years ago, no one has read my novel. At all. Because none of it was ready.
There were some crucial things I needed to clear up before the first chapter was ready to go, things that required research, things that I wasn't sure whether I would be able to find what I needed to resolve them. I got lucky, however, and dug up some stuff online that I hadn't found when I'd searched the first time around, back when I was originally doing the revisions on that chapter. I fixed the research problem, got a few other minor things taken care of, and completely finished revisions on the first chapter.
It feels good to be able to say it. The critique group's next meeting is Wednesday, so I've submitted my chapter and we'll see what they think. According to my writer friend, the group is mostly made up of readers of dark fantasy and urban fantasy, my novel's very own genre. It's like custom-ordering my test audience!