The First Novel I Ever Tried to Write

I’m excited to go on to something new, but just might go backwards instead. Back to the first novel I ever tried to write. I haven’t looked at it in more than two years. I’m a little scared to even open it up again. I don’t really know why. It’s not going to bite me or anything. But then, you never know. Drafts can be vicious and unpredictable.

After just finishing a novel, it could be that I don’t want to dive right back into another huge project. But then, I don’t like the idea that this other book has been sitting around for years either so I should probably just get back in there and finish it.

When I stopped writing the first book I ever tried to write, I thought it was about halfway done. That was before I knew about word counts and what they mean. It’s about 75,000 words. Pretty funny. These days, we’re supposed to be wrapping things up by then. I had no idea how long it was when I was writing it. I didn’t have a word count goal or anything like that. I just kept writing.

I told myself that I stopped writing it because of the research involved. I wanted to really research everything about the 1920s through the 1980s so that anyone reading it would feel like they’re living through all of it. I love research like that, so much so that I end up getting lost in time while doing more research than writing. So, I stopped and wrote another novel instead, something completely different.

This was supposed to get me into the mood to dive back into that first novel I ever tried to write, but I think it’s doing the opposite. Maybe I’ll try writing a short story instead…

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12 thoughts on “The First Novel I Ever Tried to Write

  1. It is interesting to read about the inner struggles of writers. Sometimes I just start writing. It’s like there is an internal word count in my head. It tells me when I’m at forty thousand. That’s when I think of an exit strategy. My goal is between 60 and 80. Currently I’m working on a project that will go 200 thousand. I never thought I would do that, but I liked the characters so well I wanted to give them more life.
    Write a good novel.

    • That’s funny – I didn’t have that internal word counter! Not wanting to leave your characters sounds like a good sign. You could always break the 200K up into separate books, even though I do like the longer ones too since then it feels like you’re really living with the characters. Good luck with yours – I’ll check in to see how it’s going.

  2. Have you ever tried NaNoWriMo? They are more about getting the words on a page (50K in the month) but they get you on your way. Then just spend the rest of the year editing!

    I have been writing (never completeing) for many years, going back to my undergrad years. I wonder…if I were to just sit and finish them, would I edit it to the way I write now, or would I at least have some resemblance to the style.

    Feeling inspired…

    • Yes – I didn’t do it last year but tried twice before that and failed miserably. But it did force me into writing more often and it was fun doing the word count race while going temporarily insane with everyone else. Just might have to do that again!

  3. hey, thanks for stopping by my blog–looked around yours–looks great!

    I have two and a half novels buried in my hard-drive (not counting the NaNoWriMo novel which is so craptastic I shudder to call it a novel haha) I can’t imagine going back to mess with any of those. Now, I have gone in and mined them for a character description or something like that…but as far as I’m concerned those were what I needed to write to get where I am now. Going back and working on one of them would be like going back and trying to re-do some of my highschool papers or something. They served their purpose…got me closer to that 10,000 hours to mastery concept that Gladwell talks about in Outliers (although from some of my writing now, it’s pretty obvious that I’m still not at 10,000 hours! haha!)

    • Yeah, I guess that’s why I failed at Nano – I didn’t want to just write anything. The first novel I tried to write wasn’t a Nano novel so that’s why it’s less than halfway done at 75K words (hahah). I had been writing it on and off for too many years and never paid attention to the word count or how long it was taking. Nano did get me to write faster and more often and I’m grateful for that, but the most I was able to do was around 30K words in a month.

  4. I started to write a novel when I was 11 years old. It was called “McGuire’s Corner” about a young girl (me, or course. At the age of 11 what else do you know?) and the trauma of Hurricane Carol that swept away her town. I still have it. Maybe someday….

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