No, it’s not my wedding anniversary. The Spousal Unit and I celebrated thirty years of wedded bliss this past summer, which was lovely. But then, you might extend a bit of pity to the man. He didn’t marry a writer, but he’s married to one, now!
Twenty-five years ago, on December 1, 1997, I began the first draft of a book I called Amberley’s Heir. I was a manic writer in my first year and finished that book at nearly a 100,000 words, in two months. No, I didn’t publish it. It was my first ever attempt at writing anything other than stories for school or speeches. No, I sent it to an agent and then got an analysis of pros and cons in the first few chapters, etc.
It was a great, if difficult, learning experience!
Daunted, I turned to writing other things, which was just as well. Several years later, I took this novel back out of its box and started over. Same characters. Same idea. Different approach. I was not yet happy with it.
However, in 2022, I decided to give it one more shot. Same hero and heroine, same little boy. Same valet . . . and that was it. The story is much different than it was, and I am much happier with it, now.
In the image here, the upper left is the copied-and-bound manuscript I sent to someone to pre-read for me in 1998. The upper right is the boxed manuscript I tried several years later. In the front is the three-hole-punched current THIRD first draft of his book which is now titled In the Name of Duty.
I finished this draft during NaNoWriMo. I didn’t participate officially, remember, but I did work hard for my 29,000 words and got to “The End” before midnight.
It’s odd, perhaps, to celebrate an anniversary of beginning a first draft for a novel that you didn’t even like finishing for twenty-five years, but hey. Writing is a highly individual endeavor.
If you are uncertain of a draft of something you have written, share it with someone. Find a writers’ group. Give yourself some time and distance from your story and approach it later with fresh eyes. Just don’t give up!