My Writing Journey–Writing My First Novel


Last week I brought you up to my light bulb moment of deciding I should try to write a novel.  (If you missed it, check it out in the archives.) I knew nothing about writing books except what I knew from reading books all my life soooo….I sat down at my computer. Yes, we really did have computers back then!

And I wrote my story. I didn’t tell anyone I was writing a novel, I just did it! It took me a full year to complete that first draft of my first novel–Stolen Memories.

When I was finished, I shared it with my Book Club. Mostly they were excited that I wrote it and had positive things to say. And a few pointed out ways for me to improve it. All in all, it was a positive experience, but I wanted to learn more about writing. That meant finding books about writing.

For the next few years, I read books and learned about writing techniques and I wrote and I wrote.. and I…you get my point.  Somewhere in that time I got bitten by the writing bug.  I loved creating stories and characters. At this point it never occurred to me to try to get the books I was wring  published. I simply enjoyed the writing and wanted to be good at it.

Now after writing for 19 years and having 9 books published, I look back at that first novel….and cringe! There were so many things I did wrong in that book. Here’s a few:

Started with a dream sequence. I’ve since learned this a BIG pet peeve of many agents and editors.

The main character had amnesia-another pet peeve of a lot of agents/editors.

I had no idea what POV was so head hopping was plentiful! (If you don’t know what this is check last week’s writing tips.)

As far as the quality of writing, I can’t really say since I haven’t read any of my early manuscripts since becoming a better writer. But I suspect that wasn’t all that good either. But I kept writing and kept studying books about writing. I wrote at least three more novels (all about the same character) and probably a few others.

One day as I was sitting at my computer, I had a thought–a very scary thought.

Maybe other people would like to read my stories!

Wow, I had no idea how scary that thought really was!

Writers, share one of your mistakes you made as you wrote your first novel.

Readers, tell us the truth now, would you like to be a writer? If so, why?













3 thoughts on “My Writing Journey–Writing My First Novel

  1. Thank you for your realistic and honest appraisal of your first attempt at writing. I too have started with a blog called listeningtohear and hopefully one day will see it published. Well actually I did try to get some feedback from my first writing conference and the one reviewer scared me so much it took a very kind author to get me back on track. Rose Harmer

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