However, it was not with this novel. Like many people, my first novel simply wasn’t right. But I still love it, and the characters, and would love to rewrite it one day.
In my time querying I learnt so much about craft and writing, and most of this learning came from reading – something I hadn’t done enough of during my MA because I was so busy with academia.
So don’t be disheartened, friends, if your NOVEL 1 doesn’t gain you representation. Just keep writing.
Original post below:
It would be embarrassing to mention when I first started working on NOVEL 1 (for anyone who knew me then, let me personally apologise). It didn’t have the same name, back then. Or, even, the same target audience.
The story was much shorter, and there were all sorts of threads in it that needed tying up. There were also at least three characters who got the chop and have never been heard from again.
Do I miss them? No. Is the story better for their loss? Yes.
Ditto words. Mountains and mountains of words. When you’re first told that aiming for 80,000 words is a decent target, it at first seems impossibly long, and then, as you get into your flow, impossibly short.
But then comes editing. Glorious, terrible, frightening-as-hell editing. I would have hated to do this bit alone. I am so lucky to have worked with authors, poets, freelancers and bloggers as well as good friends on clipping, chopping, slicing and generally grooming away at the manuscript. As I’ve said in a Previous Post, workshopping is the best thing you can do at this point. As many fresh eyes as possible helps for a good going-over of the text.
So, where am I now?
Actually, I’m at the rather terrifying stage of querying agents. Those busy, busy bees. So NOVEL 1 is off in the world, in their inboxes, waiting patiently to be judged like a toddler in a beauty contest.
Am I scared? You’d better believe it.
But, as the same time, I’m taking what Graham Joyce told me to heart. Everyone gets rejected at some point. And not to sit refreshing your inbox every five minutes. Get on, and feed that creative muse. Write the second book.
So, that’s what I am doing. And right now, I’m hopeful.