… Book that is. What did you think I was writing about?
My first book was a Vampire Romance. It clocked in at 120,000 + words of fang dropping goodness. I was so proud of myself and it. Since I’d read it was a good idea to give yourself some time away from a piece of writing before editing it I set it on the shelf to let it cook.
Several months later the first Twilight came out and I was horrified. Vampires were suddenly all the rage … and they weren’t mine!
In a huff I took my glorious book down and re-read it, certain it was far superior to that drek filling up the shelves.
And I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was Terrible (yes with a capital T). Needless backstory oozed from the opening pages. Trite dialog limped along like I’d populated my scenes with fifth graders practicing for a play they weren’t interested in. Almost every sentence had a grammatical mistake. Too’s and To’s were swapped. Very and Vary cavorted about independent of context. Than and Then joined in the mayhem. Heck the only newbie mistake I managed not to make was “head hopping”, but that was only because I’d written in first person.
Holy Smokes who wrote this crap?
I briefly entertained entering witness protection because surely I’d just witnessed a crime against the noble art of writing.
Alas, time heals and if it doesn’t then at least it builds up enough scar tissue as to feel the same. Eventually horror turned to indifference and then gradually to acceptance. Now I look back with a certain amount of fondness.
I kind of miss those first fumbling caresses of pen on page. The excitement of exploration and discovery. The trembling nervousness as I opened myself further and further to search for that sweet spot of wordgasmic bliss.
I’ve written several books since then and with each one I’ve gained confidence and hopefully competence, but no matter how far my career goes I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for that first wonderfully terrible book.
What about you? Do you feel fondness for your first attempts at artistic endeavor?