Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quit Yer Whinging

That's what my friend Brennan would say if he had witnessed my latest panic attack over this writing thing.

At RWA national, the effervescent and fit Ms. Cherry Adair, who conducted an excellent workshop on layering and texturing your novel, mentioned that she wrote seventeen complete manuscripts before she sold one.  Holy Shit Batman!  That is serious determination.  And my lovely and oh so talented friend, Ms. Brant said that her recently sold and scheduled to hit stores in 2009, is her fifth novel.  It's time for the heavy sighing to begin, folks.

 To add insult to injury, I just read over at Janet Reid's blog that Courtney Summers (a literary rock star in the making) was also a manuscript or so down, before she got the one that we're all breathlessly waiting for, done and sold.  All I can say is wow.  

The bright side to this is that the panicking took place away from the public (though I don't suppose yakking about it here leaves much to the imagination then, does it?), and I can soothe myself with the knowledge that others perservere and keep plugging away at it until they reach their goals.  

So, keeping the title phrase in mind, I'll shut my trap now.


Marilyn Brant said...

You'll get there, Pamala. You WILL. And, very likely, far sooner than my book #5...or Cherry's #17. I had NO background in fiction when I started my first manuscript. I rewrote it 3 times before I so much as read a textbook on writing craft. You're waaayyy ahead of the game, my friend! But, yeah, most authors' first book or two are often loving referred to as "training-wheels novels"... There's just so much for a novelist to learn.

Don't know if this'll help, but I found it comforting when I heard it: a major, multi-pubbed author said that, eventually, throughout his 20-year writing career, every single one of his books was finally published. Many of his early projects had to be seriously revised, but everything he'd ever written made its way to print.

I'm actually okay with my first novel not being published (it's dreadful! :), but I have higher hopes for some of the others... And, btw, I still have panic attacks over projects, sometimes very openly!

Pamala Knight said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, Marilyn. I like the term 'training-wheels novels', teehee. Let's hope I can find some hidden balance, hand-eye coordination or something that will help me get to the two wheelers without getting too bloody.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Pamala,

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I hope it doesn't add to your misery, but the first book I sold was my 15th full manuscript. (I was writing my 17th at the time.) I agree it is all about learning and growing as a writer but also about timing. Getting the right idea out there at the right time.

Important Note: no one has ever been able to accurately predict what the right idea at the right time is...

I know people who sold their first manuscript.

So when plot bunny's attack, make them get in line behind your current wip. You just never know whose time it is.