Hello all, I'm looking for some advice from the great contributors at this forum. I'm sort of at a loss regarding the best way to proceed. A couple of weeks ago, I (finally) finished the first draft of my novel. After stepping away from it for a couple of days, I went back to it and did quite a bit of editing - I fixed a few plot issues, changed some scenes, fixed some grammatical errors, etc. Once that was done, I gave the book to my wife to read/edit. When she finished, we sat down and discussed it - what she liked, what she didn't, was something not plausible, how were the characters developed; pretty much everything. Based on her feedback and our discussion, I have made a few more changes; I have one more plot point to work out, but I'm confident that I'll be able to do that shortly. I have no idea where to go from here. At some point soon, I think I'm going to have to try and answer a couple of questions: (1) is the book any good? and (2) do I have any talent as a writer? I don't really know how to go about that. Do I find/pay a "real" editor? Try to find an agent? Give the book to friends to read? I wanted to try and stay away from posting it anywhere as I do hope to get it published at some point. Unfortunately, my only previous writing experience was posting 10-12 articles on a football-based website a couple of years ago. Now that I have this one mostly finished, I have the itch to write more; I already have three other ideas I'd like to pursue, but I'm not sure if I should bother; the reality might be that I'm good with coming up with stories but poor at writing about them. Looking for thoughts & opinions on what the next step(s) should be. Thanks in advance for all replies.