So I've been reading Stephen King's On Writing. It's as awesome as everyone says it is, so if you haven't read it, totes go check it out.
That combined with some feedback from CPs have made me think that COTF might need some major overhauling. I've been procrastinating because I know it's going to be a lot. I have one character's personality I have to completely change, fix the ending, and sort through some scenes for modifications.
Stephen King talks about books that "put a group of characters in a predicament and then watch them work free". He talks about how plots can feel "artificial and labored". These two things really stuck with me, because I was kind of feeling the same thing. COTF has a plot, as does Novel 2, one that is very specific. I think both need some overhauling to change the feel of the story. It's still going to have a plot, but hopefully it won't feel contrived or "labored". I know I also have to change some scenes so that my MC is progressing, and doing things for herself instead of letting things happen to her. Even though she's timid and shy, she needs to change over the course of the story and MAKE things happen.
I love COTF. I think it has potential. But that's just it; it's only potential and not there yet. I know I'm going to have to work hard to make it what I want it to be. But in the end it will be worth it, right?