Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration - Thomas Edison
In response to my last post, Laila Knight and Andrew Jansen both asked about the critiquing cycles I've been through.
When I thought about it, I found that question remarkably difficult to answer. Like the evolution of language itself, the process is messy and not altogether linear.
So here is what Ghosts of Innocence has been through so far.
I started off using the Critters forum. About 30% went through the regular queue, but it takes several weeks to get each submission through so there's a limit to how much of a novel you can realistically get critiqued that way.
Still on Critters, I then used the "Request for dedicated readers" feature to get a handful of whole-novel critiques.
Later, I discovered Critique Circle and was impressed by the depth of critiques I received there. I am completing a round of pushing the whole novel through the public queues. As long as I can keep to my target, that review will have taken exactly a year.
The opening scenes have had much closer attention. The first chapters got posted both to Critters and to Critique Circle prior to fuller rounds of critiques. I've also made use of other opportunities out there, such as Authoress's "Secret Agent" contests, Ray Rhamey's "Flogging the Quill", and more recently the experimental "The Hook" queue on Critique Circle. These give a very different perspective from regular critiques.
In between times, I have several times printed off the whole thing and read through it to get a reader's perspective. I find this best done after setting it aside for a while so I can come at it almost like it's someone else's work.
So, in terms of how many rounds has it gone through ... pick a number!
If I look at the document version numbering I use on my laptop, where I save a backup copy prior to starting a major round of revisions, I am currently on version 8.
And this whole process has taken just over three years to date.