The Novel You Won’t Read

(In response to a blog entry detailing why the author could not write her best-selling novel idea.)

I wrote that novel.

I dove into it and wrote constantly. I brought my spiral bound notebook everywhere, writing during every free minute I could find. I brought it to bed with me, scrawling into the night until The Hubby grumbled at me to turn off the light.

I finished that novel.

I shared it with two trusted people. I shared it with two people who wouldn’t tell me if it sucked, but did tell me what they liked about it. I posted the first five chapters on my brand-spanking-new portfolio on writing.com. I earned a pretty red ribbon in a review forum. It was a 25k’er; not even the default 10k’er.

It sucks.

It’s awful. The description is weak and the characters are flimsy. The sexual encounters were less than amateurish. The fight scenes wouldn’t excite a starving werewolf craving a confrontation.

Without it, I’d still suck.

That was four years ago. Last year I dug out that 3” binder and read that novel again. I cringed at the thought that I considered it good back then. I could see – SEE – the improvements in my writing since then. I wanted to rip it apart and rewrite it, but it was so bad that I didn’t know where to start.

That story may never see the light of day. It might never get the revision it desperately needs. I love the main character and I’m visiting her again, but now I know that sometimes we need to write to practice and learn. Sometimes our stories aren’t meant for anyone but us. Had I known that then, I might not have spent so much time writing those 348 pages. It’s a good thing I didn’t know. It needed to be done.

Ciao,
Pia

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7 responses to “The Novel You Won’t Read

  • Shadows

    I also value the time spent on the 3 year thing. I learned a lot and I hope you did too. I have 2 or 3 of those that’ll not be published. Honestly, I’m losing interest in publishing. That world scares me much more than any of our stories.

  • Pia Veleno

    You’ve seen it – That Novel. Can you believe it was the same person who came up with Max? Yes, you’ve grown too. I can see it in Xanox. We were good for each other.

  • Shadows

    Reading the stuff before? No. Reading it as you write it now? Yes.

    It was a marriage. Sometimes, they don’t work out, but they still do the same job of changing you, whether you like it or not.

    Glad FtL is over, so I can stop fretting about falling behind. Now it’s just nothing.

    Hey, have a great vacation.

  • Jenn

    Did you submit that to S&G four years ago?

  • Pia Veleno

    No, I didn't. I have sumbitted one or two "shorts" to S&G over the past couple of years, but no part of That Novel. FtL is the first I've worked with these characters since I started with WDC. It's a pleasant reunion.

  • Grégoire

    Sheeeyat. Who you talkin’ to? I’d read that sucker.

  • Pia Veleno

    awww… thanks Gregoire. You really wouldn’t want to. Not in it’s current state anyway. But I promise, I’m working on one worthy of reading. 🙂

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