I started revising my second book on Thursday. It's such a weird experience, reading something you've written after a month or so of not looking at it. And draining...
See, I'm one of the meanest authors ever, and in the last half of the book, I put this girl through so much crap that it's exhausting for me to read. The Lord only knows what my First Readers will think. (my First Readers are a small group of three or four that read the book before I do any really serious rewrites. It gives me a better perspective.)
I also came to the conclusion that I must like killing characters off. Granted, it's kind of a murder mystery, which means there have to be a few bodies, but still... I'm afraid I'm turning into a conflict addict in my writing. Things start to settle down a little for my characters and I think, "Gosh, someone needs to be punched in the mouth. Which one should I hit?" On the other hand, nothing livens up a story like a good fight.
(This is funny because I used to avoid direct conflict in my writing. In my early stuff, all my characters had massive internal conflicts, and very little exterior ones. It's still hard for me to write dialogue for fights and arguments.)
There are encouraging things. For example, nothing beats reading something you wrote some time ago and realizing that it's good. I wrote this book differently then anything I'd done before, writing the first draft out by hand and then periodically typing what I'd written into my computer. I didn't do a whole lot of rewriting when I first typed it in, just made sure that all the plot lines were consistent, names matched, etc. Going back and reading it, it turns out that this method works a lot better than I thought it would. The book still needs work of course, especially the end, but it was a very pleasant surprise.