Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Second time is a charm?

Last night I hit 18k in my WIP, so that on its own is enough to make me smile, but I also realized how much more on track I am this time around. It's one of those things that you have to see to believe. Since I started blogging and following the whole world of writing I've heard it repeated over and over again how writers pushed their first novel aside when they had the agent door slammed in their face. Like most newbies I thought this wouldn't happen to me, my book was going to be one of those rare stories of success. Um, no. I was clearly wrong about that. I am not one of those uber talented lucky writers who wrote a best seller with my first book. Far from it.

While I did make some great progress on my query journey I decided to quit while I was ahead and start new instead of sending any more queries. I quit at about 80 since my request ratio wasn't nearly a good as it should have been and I had rejections on two fulls. But I did learn from it and I got feedback that has helped me tremendously in revising my first book and starting my second. I'm in awe of how much I've learned in a year so I've decided to take that knowledge and put it to good use with a brand spanking new story that's free of all my beginner mistakes. That's the plan at least. I had some doubts this week but a friend of mine (Sara!) set me straight and assured me what she has read so far is spot on. And since I trust her I'm going to leave the beginning alone for now and keep blasting away.

I have two writing buddies that have proven the theory of the second book to be true with hugh request rates and already I see how much smoother it is. The title came to me right away, the hook was immediately clear, I found photos of my characters without any trouble. So I'm curious about what the rest of you out there have experienced. Anyone else suffer the delusional new writer syndrome? Any advice for the second time around, or maybe the third or fourth or fifth?

Now, off to write...


Natalie Bahm said...

I didn't even query my first book (and I'm so glad I didn't...It sucked), but I got an agent with book 2! So I totally believe that the second (or third or fourth) time's a charm. Writing, like so many other things in life, gets better with practice.

beth said...

I am a big believer in the idea that most writers need a practice novel. It just makes sense--to be good at something, you need to practice it.

Abby said...

I'm still in delusional first novel mode. ;) Though, so much has been rewritten and reordered, maybe it doesn't count as a first novel anymore? We'll see. I have to try. :D

I am finding that writing my second novel has been a much smoother process from the start. All that practice has definitely helped.

Rebecca L Sutton said...

Thanks for the thoughts, it's great to know I am not alone on this!

Natalie - wow congrats on the agent with the second book. Again, this adds to my second chance theory. : )

Beth - You are absolutely right, practice is the key to success with anything in life. That's something I we all struggle to remember at times.

Abby - Hey, there is nothing wrong with believing in your first novel. There are people out there who HAVE made it with the first one. If they can do it, so can you! It just didn't happen for me. Of course I put it aside a lot sooner than I could have, but still. Good luck!!!