Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First Novels

Yes novels.  Not drafts.  Novels.

This is a topic I might be totally alone in, but that's why I want to talk about it with you Dreamers.  I've never really voiced my concern about this, nor have I voiced my opinions and feelings, to anyone.  But, alas, I feel I need to.  As much as I hate to admit it, I kind of feel lost on this.  Like I told you all in the beginning, I'll never claim to be an expert in writing.  I just feel I know enough to give my two cents.

So, today I'm gonna talk about first novels.  The first novel you resolve to write.  A lot of times these novels don't see the light of day.  Of course there are exceptions to this seemingly unwritten rule. (i.e. Stephenie Meyer)  However, usually it turns out that the first thing you write doesn't get published.  And that doesn't even mean your first draft.

I'm very scared of this.  I love my story, but I always ask myself "Is it really a story?  Is there really any plot to it?  Or am I just messing around with it and it's the characters I love?".  To me, my novel doesn't seem like a book - which I guess can be looked at two very different ways.  It's good, on one hand, if it doesn't seem like a book because that means it's totally unique.  *And despite what Charlie might say, it's not a Twilight rip-off.  No vamps - I swear.*  On the other hand, it's bad because, to me, it means I can't see it selling or becoming a book. 

I think a lot of times writers are afraid of their first novel never being published for one major reason.  They think they only have one book in them.  However, usually this isn't the case.  For myself, already know of two or three books that I really want to write, outside of SOLACE.  But honestly, before I had those ideas, I was desperately afraid of that.  So afraid that I thought I was going to have to write sequels upon sequels just to make a living.  I was so convinced that SOLACE was the only series/characters I would ever be able to work with.

So, because I know it's going to be asked, how do you assure that you have another book in you to write?

That's really a hard question to answer, so I offer you my best advice.  Keep your eyes open, don't ignore anything.  Think about things in ways someone else might not.  Read - a lot.  Write everything down.  Watch people (in a non-creepy way).  Observe everything.  By doing this, you might just get a new idea you never would have thought about.  I know at least two of my potential novels came about this way.  The other(s) came about via my dad throwing ideas around. 

But what scares me is saying goodbye to this story - if it ever came to that.  I mean, it's my first novel.  The first thing that I've felt passionate about and have stuck with for two and a half years.  I love Hallie as if she's me, and Edward as if he's my boyfriend.  I don't know how I could say goodbye to them.  Could I?

And I suppose that saying goodbye would never be goodbye.  I could always put them into a different story or recreate their world.  But still, if I know that I abandoned them, and didn't let anyone outside of my coterie know them...I feel as though I have failed them.  I've always compared my novel to my child, my characters are my friends, children, family, and lovers. 

However, that's exactly my point.  Your children don't just disappear from your life - even if they pass away, they're still with you.  And so, my first novel will always be my first born child, in a way.  No matter what happens to it, it'll always be in my heart and I'll always love it and it'll always be the thing that impacted my life and made me who I am. 



Carly Gaile said...

Hanna dearest... you need not worry about getting published or not getting published. There are plenty of outlets to get "published," and I know you're very educated on that and everything, but if you get rejected... so what? I have a whole book of publishers and websites and newspapers and magazines that are begging for new writers. So if you try and "fail," don't ever think you've failed forever. I promise that there will always be SOMETHING that wants to publish you. You're talented. (You got first place in the POP tourney) :) In saying this, writing is an art. Maybe the publisher won't like your art, but as long as YOU like it and are willing to put a LOT of work into finding an outlet, you can and WILL get published. Know that even though it may not be a book... there are jillions of places you can see your work in print. I promise. I have a gift for you once we have the meeting on the seventeenth. You'll like it :)

Hanna said...

@ Carly - thank you, so much for your little comment! It means a lot. I need to send you something.

Is your gift gonna make me cry? I need to know which mascara to wear. ;)

Love ya girly! *big hugs*

Carly Gaile said...

Hahahah. No, no crying. Unless you're realllllly sensitive. Or a bug flies in your eye or something.
And I also might forget... not because I don't care but because I stink at remembering things. So, don't feel bad if you have to remind me to bring your present. Hehe :) I'll be in NY for a few days incase I don't answer super fast. *big hug back* :)