I submitted several chapters to Critters.org and the folks over there are amazingly helpful. They tore down my first few chapters and helped me rebuild a stronger structure. Criticism at its finest, as long as you think of words as hair: a trim will help it grow back stronger.
After the first full-length critique I even felt brave enough to type "The End" -- after I added a few more chapters on characterization to the beginning. And the folks at Unicorn Bell helped me polish up the first page of chapter 1 so it shines. I am extremely grateful.
Now there is more to finishing a novel than just the actual novel. I have been working on loglines, blurbs, and query letters. How to condense a 85,000-word book into about 50, 150 or 250 perfectly crafted words. I learned so much in Laurie Schnebly Campbell's BookBlurb class, it was full of marketing tricks. I also received very helpful critiques at Unicorn Bell and from Michael Ehret at Novel Rocket.
So here is my logline, in case anyone is curious:
Top graduates ever from the Academy of Demia, David and Catrine were a team until he discovers she is next in line for a hereditary throne -- one that should not even exist on a planet that valued merit over birthright.