Okay kiddos – here we go. Here is my ooey gooey ultra soppy life’s story. NOT. I don’t know how to write one of those.
Anywho; a couple people have expressed interest in the details of how my early attempt at getting published smacked me around like I was a fly at a barbeque. Okay, so they didn’t put it that way. But they do want to know what I’ve done with my writing and what I’ve claimed to have learned from the whole ordeal.
Then I realized, duh – I decided to start a blog. People are going to want to know things like that! Right. So here you have it…
Twelve years old, while everyone else slept, I sat down on the top stair and began to write down an idea for a novel. Yes, I know that sounds very creepy. No, I had no ulterior motive for being awake whilst they slept innocently on, unaware of the mayhem and plotting unfurling in my scrambled brain… I was simply pacing the stairs when inspiration struck and I sat my butt down and wrote as it directed. I ended up creating the world and bare bones plot for my first manuscript.
Then, obviously – oh I don’t know – I wrote the novel. 😉 Just, not in that one night. It took years. F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to be truthful.
Years later (see – years!) while in high school…
JUNE 2009 to OCTOBER 2011:
I bought the newest addition of Writer’s Market and read every page that pertained to me. I wrote up query letters and sent them out to literary agents. I received rejection letters, researched more lit agents and sent out again. I also began writing a sequel to the novel I was querying on.
I began researching literary agents and what they did, what the publishing world was like, what authors had to say about it. That was about the time I realized I was semi-moronic. I rewrote my manuscript for about the eighty-thousandth time and found more agents to send out to. Wrote up new and much better query letters and sent them out.
I had two literary agents request more of my work. They both had the same thing to say in response. My work had merit, but it needed work before it could be publishable. Other agents had said things along the same line, but these two had been interested and they’d said this! It wasn’t just a nice way of saying get lost.
So I began researching the craft of writing. This was when I realized I was full blown moronic. And my manuscript didn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting published!
I proceeded to keep the idea for my original novel and scrapped the manuscript. I then delved into online sources on the craft of writing. Editors, authors, literary agents, teachers, professors, publishers, online workshops; the works. I took months of doing nothing but scouring the sources I had at my disposal. The more I learned the more I realized that I had made a lot of mistakes. But I understood them. I knew why I was lucky I even had ONE literary agent tell me something other than “stop writing – my eyes are crying!”
MISTAKE #1: I tried to get a manuscript published that I began writing when I was only twelve years old. Yes, I had edited and rewritten it many times since. But let’s face it. The construct of a novel created inside a twelve year old’s head is not going to stand up to the publishing standards. There simply isn’t that level of mental maturization needed to create round characters, non ignorant worlds and/or social worlds, and the needed mixture of personality types and their reactions. Not that I’m trying to make myself sound perfect due to being older, not at all. ‘Cuz that came out snotty I have to admit.
MISTAKE #2: Ignoring my gut instinct; the internal knowing that the novel needed a major overhaul and I didn’t know enough yet to be published.
MISTAKE #3: When I began getting annoyed with rewriting and rereading my manuscript, I kept on rewriting and rereading. Major mistake here! If it’s no longer enjoyable for you to write – it will show in the writing.
MISTAKE #s 4 thru 89,001: I made so many “craft of writing” mistakes when it came to my manuscript that I could publish THEM into a novel by the time I was done with the listing.
I made mistakes. But I made them early on. I made mistakes, learned from them and shook off the embarrassment. How else do you learn but by first failing?
So there it is folks. My epic failure that did me more good than bad. What do ya think?