music playing: Rasputina’s In Old Yellow Cake
I’m still stuck revising the first three chapters of my draft. More and more I am learning how important the beginning must be. Of course, I want my whole novel to be great. (I certainly don’t want a reader to get to the middle and then throw it across the room) But if the very first page isn’t flawless, an agent is never going to look further. And there goes the chance for any reader to ever even get to the middle of my novel.
I’ve been working on this all day and somehow have managed not to O.D. on caffeine. And I still frigging have not made much progress.
But as difficult as all this is- I also love it. I love thriving towards something. Have something to dream about, and work on every day. I think life must be rather dull for people who have no dreams.
And I’m further comforted by remembering that all writers struggle.
Nathanial Hawthorne reportedly destroyed countless manuscripts in fits of despair.
Emily Bronte wrote in July 1836: “I am more terrifically and idiotically and brutally STUPID than ever I was in the whole course of my incarnate existance.”
Faulkner was certain The Sound and the Fury would never be published due to its experimental tone.
Richard Adam’s classic tale of rabbits searching for a new home on Watership Down was rejected 13 times. Adults wouldn’t want to read about bunnies. Or so agents gathered.
No matter what century- writers struggle. They struggle with the first draft. With the countless revisions. And then they struggle with finding that initial agent who believes.
So fellow writers, when you get down, just remember every single writer on this planet- from the immortals to the midlist to the still unknowns- have gone, and are going, through the same thing.
And the ultimate victory is so worth it.