Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Backstory: Birth of a Novel I

I started my novel in the fall of 2006. That February I decided to leave my job as at editorial assistant at Bedford/St. Martin's so that I'd have more time to write. It was a very hard decision. I loved working there, I loved working on books, and I really loved working with authors. There was just one problem: whenever we had an author meeting I had the distinct impression that I was on the wrong side of the table. I didn't want to work with authors I wanted to be the author. So I finally decided to leave. I swallowed my pride and took a part time job so that I'd have two full days a week to write. I finished the first draft that summer before my sister's wedding in 2007.

Then I took a couple weeks off for the wedding.

When I came home I reread it. And gaped. And cried. And threw it down in disgust. It was not what I'd had in mind. Not at all. Too nice, too silly. Oh, I cringed thinking back to all the times I'd laughed at my own cleverness, my witty dialogue.

I knew I needed to rewrite it but I was scared. How could I trust myself anymore? I had thought it was so good and it turned out it wasn't as good as I'd thought. So I stalled and worried and tried to work on my children's picture book.

And then, one night I had a dream.

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