Thursday, June 10, 2010

Burn Your First Novel

I've suddenly become convinced that we should--immediately after finishing our first novels--burn the manuscripts.  How very cathartic that could be!

I'm in the process of editing my first novel, and it's a mess.   I'm not sure where to go with it.  I've ripped it apart into two novels.  I'm concerned that just too much happens through the course of 300 pages.  I could spend more time building conflict and characters if I stretched it out into two separate works.  So now I'm trying to fill in the spaces between the events in the first half of the novel by adding in scenes--dreaming up new ones that maybe existed in the back of my mind but never made it onto paper.

It almost seems easier to write my next novel rather than fix the wrongs I've committed in the first.  I'm sure my writing sins are widespread and numerous.  But I think every new writer makes these same mistakes.  I've read a few self-published debut novels that have confirmed this thesis, at any rate.

Maybe the problem is that I need to take a breather from my first novel and work on something else... but I'm anxious to get the first one finished.  Then again, maybe I should just burn the damn thing and rewrite it someday.