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Thursday, June 2, 2011

What a difference a year makes.

The last year has been a crazy, wonderful journey. A lifelong writer, I can remember spending lazy afternoons in my daybed as a teenager, writing what I now know would be considered historical fiction. Unfortunately, like a lot of people, I got sidetracked along the way, somewhere not far from law school. Writing went on the backburner.

My current journey actually started a few years ago. I was inspired to pick up the pen—er the laptop—and get to writing again. A story came to me, and within a matter of months I had written a novel.

Now, I use the term novel loosely. I knew it had problems and needed work, but it was about 300 pages of words tied together in a plot—with chapters and all! I loved the characters. They had become real people to me. Then my Aunt Kara (AK) and I discovered we had both written books. We swapped our manuscripts, but I didn’t show it to anyone else. Then I put it away and didn’t look at for a while. Frankly, I just didn’t know what to do with it anymore.

Then last spring AK and I connected with a local author, a real, published writer, and started taking her class. Meredith joined us along the way. It really evolved into a critique group, and the gallery we met at was a magical vortex of ideas and words. After a few months, I came to terms with the fact that the first book had to basically be scrapped. I spent a little time mourning it, then I got to work.

I brainstormed with my mentor and the group. The characters moved to the beach, where they were much happier. Some were spared, others were cut, but the majority of the old book was sent to the word spa (more on that in another post.) I started writing.

And writing.

This was in between being a full time attorney and involved in several groups, and everything else life throws at you. There were lots of late nights and weekends at the laptop. The new version was ready just before Thanksgiving, just in time to be submitted for the St. Martin’s Minatour/Mystery Writer’s of America First Crime Novel Contest.

I spent a few months editing, and then I started querying. I have some manuscripts out, and I’m keeping my head up in this brutal game called publishing.

Because after all, this time last year, I started with a dream and a blank computer screen.

What a difference a year makes.


1 comment:

  1. I'm in the same boat and sounds like I had a very similar journey to you. I started about a year ago and cranked together a novel in time for the same contest. Unfortunately, that rough draft was ROUGH. Now, a year later, it is polished and much, much different. I'm hopeful it will be picked up soon. Good luck to both of us! Thx for the follow on twitter. Enjoying your blog now too
    Kristi Belcamino



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