When we start out with our writing, we want to GET IT OUT! It's like having a literary exorcism. Um...there's no head-spinning, but God knows there's head-hopping. And some bad grammar. Questionable style. Fragments. It's ROUGH. And we self-edit. And self-edit. And then give it two weeks. And then self-edit some more.
We edit what we have. Let's say it's literally our first book. An editor would probably wince when they read it. Or want to gouge out their ocular orbs with the nearest fountain pen. But perhaps there's a grain in there that reaches out to them. It's a good plot. The characters have interesting dialogue. SOMETHING grabs them. And then we're in. But the fun has just begun. Because you know you can do it now. The idea fountain has been tapped, and it's flowing all down your gray matter. Your brain is literally flooded with ideas, characters, and plots. You scramble to write what you can down so you can utilize it later.
Your second book is a little better. You have a feel for it. You think you've narrowed down the head-hopping and fixed the fragments. The grammar is better. But you still leave a little to be desired in the style department. You do the editing thing...repeatedly. And then you send that baby out, too. Instead of the fountain pen, the editor scratches their head and thinks it's a little better. Perhaps with a little time...
You continue to work on your craft, because practice makes perfect after all. Or at least, that's what you're hoping. And your third book spills onto the page as if it had a mind of its own. It flows seamlessly. There are no huge mistakes that make an editor swear they should have listened to their parents and gone to law school. It's a good story. Strong characters. The grammar and style are pleasing. And it feels good.
My point? Do you ever look back on your own, or another author's writing and say, "Oh my. I can't believe that was ever published?" I have. With my own and other books. Bestselling books. Books with advances that could pay for my house twice over. It gets better. It always gets better when you put your back into it.
The more I write, the better I am. I can actually see the improvement. People have commented on it. And I can see it in other authors. I'll be honest. I didn't like a lot of the early Nora books. Yep. *Gasp* *Wheeze* I just said that.
We're all incredibly immature at the beginning of our careers. It takes time. It takes commitment. And it takes a will to embrace anything and everything that can help our writing. And then we grow. And maybe someday, we'll be that author on the NYT bestselling list that never gave up. And when we read our first book, we'll put away the fountain pens. Because we need those eyes.
9 months ago