Quote Originally Posted by Harlequin View Post
For a first book, I think it's important to write by yourself and finish almost in isolation. Opinions will vary!

But after the first book all the rules are a bit different. You will find in indie communities that the first draft IS the book, more or less, in a number of cases; it gets written, sent to editor, sent to proofreader, sent out the door.

I edit extensively as a I go, but increasingly find that after a couple of overall (start to finish) passes I'm happy for my critiquers to start looking at stuff. Like you I use my partner for the roughest and most polished drafts; he is required to read everything twice ;-)

Nota bene, I refuse to cede that I must write men badly. Not going to debate it, but I can't let it lie without comment, either.
I'll gladly cede that there must be some female authors that do a good job with male characters, but I've not encountered them. In my opinion Anne Rice, Ursula LeGuin, and Sara King (the only female authors I can think of off the top of my head) are all pretty bad. This is not important enough to argue about though, as I've enjoyed books by all the authors I mentioned.