No, thankfully, not my car. Mostly because I don’t have a car.
Recently, I was thinking about my first effort at writing a book. It was successful in the sense that a book-length number of words were put down on paper, but that’s about it. The story was a mess, with more plot threads than high-end bed sheets, half of them going nowhere. The characters were better, but not by much. They main characters were fairly deep, just not interesting enough to lead a story. Minor characters were based off people I knew to the point it could have been libelous. And let’s just say I had no idea about pacing and leave it at that.
Still, even though I’ll never let it look at the light of day again, I look back at it fondly. I may not have known what I was doing, but I had fun immersing myself in a world of my own creation and with which I could do anything. Creating, dreaming, imagining…I tell you, no drug could replicate the joys of being lost in your own mind.
It’s sad that there probably isn’t anything I could do with all those words (trust me on this) and people and stories. Elements may be reused someday, but the meat of the book is a total loss. Now, I’m not saying it was a waste of time. Far from it. I learned a lot while writing it and the idea of getting it published pushed me to learn even more.
So there is meaning in everything. Writers out there: what did you learn from your first story? Do you believe it could be published, with or without heavy rewrites?
Define first story. :PReplyDelete
What I suppose was technically my first story was never finished, but I do think it's good, and, if I ever find my notebook with it in it, I may sit down and start on it again.
The second story I sat down to write is The House on the Corner.
Getting stuff down on paper was a big first step, but I don't think i really got a handle on what I could do until I started taking the first draft and rewriting it. That's when it went fromsomething I enjoyed to something other people enjoyed.ReplyDelete
"The story was a mess, with more plot threads than high-end bed sheets"ReplyDelete
ROFL - good one!
"...I had fun immersing myself in a world of my own creation and with which I could do anything. Creating, dreaming, imagining…I tell you, no drug could replicate the joys of being lost in your own mind."
I can sooo relate to this! People who don't write fiction don't *get* this.
I learned a lot writing my first novel, and it has already gone through a lot of revision (I cringe when I read passages from older versions), but I think it's publishable. Now what it needs is a plot assessment/revision (trimming scenes and fixing a few plausibility issues), and then an editing pass to tighten the writing and improve/vary some of the descriptions.
Have you considered taking your story and putting to a plot outline test to see if it's salvageable? You might have to cut/change some things, but the main story idea could possibly be saved.
Oh, I don't know. My first one was a women's fiction novel and I've kind of gone over to the middle grade side of things. It was a bit chick-litish for today's market, and there were lots of indulgent quaint town descriptions and food/baking scenes that didn't really have any relation to plot. I think it's a goner :)ReplyDelete
That's funny, I was just looking back at my first novel. (I need something to write about next week at that other place I blog when they make me.) And I think it's salvageable.ReplyDelete
Perhaps I'm just deluded...
Our early stuff that we write is our training ground, I think. It's the way we learn from our own mistakes, and set out to hone our craft.ReplyDelete
PS - I linked this in my IWSG for November. Reading this inspired me to write an entire post. Whether you wanted to be or not, your a muse. :)ReplyDelete
Make that 'you're' hahahaDelete