Ok, so I recently published my very first book. People generally wonder how long it took to write it. Frankly, writing the first draft did not take that long (maybe 4 – 6 months). What took forever was the editing! To be honest, I’m almost ashamed to admit that I wrote the first draft of this book back in 2006. Yes 2006! That was 11 years ago! Why in God’s name did it take me so long to edit this? Perhaps you think I wrote another 10 books in between. Errr… Nope. That’s not how it went down. Between draft 1 and final draft there were children. Yup! Two, to be precise, although kid #1 was out when I wrote draft 1, kid #2 wasn’t even in the belly yet. The book was written, edited, and given to my 7-year-old cousin to read who swore she loved it! Why didn’t I just publish it then? Simple, I tried doing it the traditional way. I started researching agents, taking courses, made a trial query (as I never expected it to be picked up on the first try), then edited some more… then some more… then some more! Don’t know why I edited so much. I was putting into practice things I’d learned in writing courses. Eventually, with all the editing and breastfeeding the book got tossed aside. Years later… and I’m talking like 6 years later, I decided to give it one last edit round (more like a proofread) before sending out a new set of queries. At this point I had a lovely agent list picked out and was ready to use it. Then I read my first sentence… Can you here the quiet weeping? Yes, that was me. I wept. I cried. I ranted. What a crappy first sentence! No wonder no agent picked this up! It sucks! It sucks! My book sucks! Therefore I suck!
I don’t know how long the self-hate lasted, but the good thing with me is, I don’t like self-pity so eventually the self-disgust turned to anger, and the anger, turned to determination, and after a few hours of weeping I got up and vowed to REWRITE the whole thing. From top to bottom… Everything is getting fixed! In the end, I didn’t have to rewrite the whole entire thing. The first chapter turned out rather nice I think (mind you it’s like the 5th version of it and I did eliminate a prologue). The book flows, it moves along, and I’m happy with the story, dialogue, imagery, etc.
Do you still have any self-doubt about the book? YES! The narrator’s voice changed a bit. I liked the original. Not sure if it was better than now. I think it elevated the reading level a bit, but I decided to put it out there for all to read. At this point, I want YOUR opinion, good or bad. So, if any of you like kid lit, fantasy or fairies… or maybe you’re just curious to read what took this long to edit, here’s the link: The Adventures of Pixie Piper: A Fairy’s Breath