Revisited: Finishing That First Manuscript

by Lori, @lorisizemore on 08.10.2011

in then and now


Then:

01.22.2008

Finis. Sort of.

I have finished the first rewrite on the first act of my fist novel. All those firsts, they just kind of sing disaster, don’t they?

And yet, oh my god. I felt the same rush I did finishing the thing. The first act, about 140 pages, needed a lot of work. It was mainly written back when I had little to no clue. At all. There was infodump! There were scenes with NO conflict! None. Just… here’s an event. And another. And another. They serve no purpose, but… there they are!

Most importantly, though, I was extremely intimidated by doing those rewrites. I just didn’t know if I could make it into anything better.

So, it’s still rough. It’s still a WIP. But it is no longer a piece of crap. It is a shiny, well-polished piece of crap.


Now:

Here’s what I have learned: I loved that story.  I will always love that story.  But it’s not going to be published. (Probably–one never truly gives up hope, right?)  What matters, though, is I learned an incredible amount of craft from writing that story.  I learned about rejection and writing better query letters by submitting that story.  I learned. I got better. And if that’s not the best argument in the world for those times when we feel so discouraged because we’re told, ‘Keep writing.  The first few novels won’t be publishable.  But keep learning,” then I don’t know what is.

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