1. terrwyn
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    terrwyn Member

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    Writing and publishing your first work

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by terrwyn, Mar 30, 2012.

    I've been writing a fantasy fiction novel and I have the ideas for two more books to follow it later on. I read from another writer that their first book did not get published and they used that novel to gain experience before writing a more grounded, realistic book. I've put years into my novel in progress and there will be more years to come. I want to get this book published someday. It seemed to me that if a book didn't get published, the person moved on and wrote with another plot and idea. So if I wanted to seriously get my first book published, would I just have to rewrite it over and over until I had fixed nearly everything so it would become perfect to get published and out on the shelves?
     
  2. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    You would want it to be as near as perfect as possible before attempting to get it published by most publishers in the first place and that would include self-publishing, as far as I'm concerned.
     
  3. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    where the mind is without fear...
    Yes, you have to perfect your work as best as you can before you even think of trying to publish it. When you feel that there is nothing much you can do to improve your work you might sent query letters to agents. duotrope.com is a good place to find agents who might be interested in your work. Read this discussion to find out more on finding agents and submitting.

    On your decision to dump your novel or rewrite it, you might want to wait for suggestions from the interested agents because if they see potential in your work they might offer a few suggestions.
     
  4. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you write some other novels or short stories in the meantime, though, they may give you experience (both with writing and with the publishing industry). When you get back to your main project, you may see it in a new light and have new ideas for it.
     
  5. Edlamp
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    Edlamp New Member

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    Handel wrote the Messiah in two weeks!
    I wouldn't put all your eggs in one basket. Try some more ideas. Experiment.
    You won't be able to write a novel in two weeks .., but you might be able to come up with a great story, great characters and so on, and find your voice for that story within that sort of time-frame and then you're really on to something ..
    And never think of any "failed" past writing as a failure. Without it, you wouldn't be where you are now. It took Handel, as it takes all creatives, years to learn their trade.
     
  6. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    Althought I completely agree with the thought that has been expressed that you shouldn't allow this novel to hold you back from writing other books, I also loved the idea of my first novel so much that I won't let it die. I will continue to edit, fix, rewrite and whatever else is needed until it is published. I have already invested five years into this novel and have had to do some very painful things in the rewrites as I've worked to make it better. Some people think I'm letting the novel hold me back but since I'm still enjoying the process and I'm still learning and improving my writing skills I'm okay if that takes the rest of my life. I have started a second novel but if I ever get feedback or thoughts about my first one I'm happy to set everything else aside to work with my baby.
     
  7. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    I'm in the same boat as Amy. I've spent years on my first novel and I'm determined to get it published, but to do that I had to do some pretty major rewrites. Friends and family who've read the original keep telling me I'm going too far from my original concept and no longer writing the book *I* want to write, but they're wrong - I wouldn't write a book if I didn't believe in the story. Writing a novel is soul destroying enough as it is ;)

    And the story I'm now writing uses the same characters, time frame, and events of the original, but just in a different way with a different focus. I always tell people it's like I've repositioned the camera, so that instead of following the former MC, now I'm going to see what the second main character got up to when he wandered off set in the original version. As it turns out, he's doing something MUCH more interesting than the character I was focused on before :D

    Anyway, the moral is: If you are so determined to get your first novel published, then write it. Polish it, make sure it's as perfect as you can get it. Get critiques then polish it again. Then query agents with it. If you're lucky enough to score representation as it is, then good for you. But if not, and IF you get feedback (and feedback from an agent is rarer and more precious than a unicorn that shits gold) on what would make it publishable, use that feedback to rewrite the MS, and try not to be too precious about sticking to your original concept.

    That's what I did, and I now have an agent.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    killbill...
    duotrope doesn't list agents, as far as i know... only publishers...

    i have several good agent listing sites for various parts of the world and will be glad to pass them on if you drop me a line...
     
  9. blyish
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    blyish New Member

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    Well, you'll have to do a lot of editing, rewriting, more editing... But just because it's your first novel it doesn't mean you have to put it into a drawer and forget about it. Some writers consider their first novel "practice." Others actually sell their first novel. It all depends on how good it is.
     

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