Sunday, October 3, 2010

The First Novel

Do you remember that first novel I told you all about? Well, I planned carefully the plot, I did my research and, finally, I started writing. At first I got so carried away by the story, which I find so interesting, that all I wrote were the bones of the novel; what I mean is that there was no metaphor, no similes, there were only facts and simple conversations. The entirety of the first chapter were something like ten lousy pages in double space, so there's no need to say it needed work.

A quick travel to Mexico took me away from my baby and gave a week to distance myself from it. By the time I came back and put my family back on tracks -my husband was barely able to survive on eggs, steak, and frozen pizza but my house was in serious need of a clean up and my girls, five and four, were in need of a home cooked meal- I had taken a two weeks "vacation" in total. I went back to my manuscript, re-read it and totally hated it. I restarted from the very beginning but this time I took the time to put in paper the outlines of all that, too important plot so I could take my time describing scenes and characters; I also wrote a list of all the points that I wanted to make through the first chapter in order to cover the story in as much detail as possible. You see, I was so excited with the realization that I was able to write and I had an idea for a novel!, that I had a very poorly thoughtout plan of how to express that great idea.

Another thing quite amusing that is kind of complicating this whole thing is, you always read that you have to write in the genre that you read... well, I've always loved horror stories but I'm trying to write a ROMANCE! Why on earth I got in my mind this story in particular? I have no idea, but I truly understand Stephen King now. He was asked once why he chose to write horror, his answer: What makes you think I chose? So, my plan to overcome this? I've started reading YA romance to get to know the pacing and development that a reader will be expecting.

So, all at the same time I've been looking for my own style, I've been learning about the genre that has chosen me, and I've been writing my dream story. The final result has been painfully bad at times but I keep reminding me that this is only my first draft and I can always go back to perfect it in a second or third draft. This second attempt has taken me a lot more time but, I feel, it has a much better quality; I haven't even finished the first chapter yet but, so far, I've written some thirty pages of not so abhorrent nature.

As you can see, everyday is a battle against the odds, and against my own questions about my talent but I'm hanging in here; somedays better than others but still in the fight.

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