March 16

My First Book Taught Me Patience

Ordinary World is my first published book, but not my first book.  I made my first serious attempt at a novel in 1988.  It’s called Simple Twist, and it’s the story of an ordinary guy who tries to solve a murder.  It was originally intended to be the first of a series.  Later, I changed my mind and wrote a prequel to it, so now it’s the second book in the series.  (The first one, Domino Theory, should be published in a week or so.)

I thought I finished Simple Twist in 1999.  It was the first book I had actually completed, and I was proud of it.  I even found an agent, who shopped it around.  She got an offer from an e-publishing house.  E-publishers were pretty new then, and she advised me to hold out for a print publisher.  Then my agent disappeared.  Her phone was disconnected, and she stopped responding to my emails.  At the time, I wished I’d taken the e-publisher’s offer.

Since then, I have realized that Simple Twist wasn’t ready.  It still isn’t.  After more than twenty-five years of intermittent work on it, it’s now in its seventh draft.  Nevertheless, I can see that the main character needs more depth, and that there are decisions he makes that don’t appear logical.  I think I’m now ready to finish it, but lately I’ve been too busy on other projects.

Writing Simple Twist has been a lesson in many ways.  Perhaps the most important is that, as an author, I want to see my book in print.  But a book isn’t finished until it’s finished.

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

Posted March 16, 2014 by mitchmaitree in category "Writing

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