I just finished rewriting my first novel--again--for the third time. It took me 6 months to completely redo it. I started writing Cooper's Moon in late 1995. How many years ago is that?! This is 2016 (June) and I have just finished my final--dear God I hope it's my final--rewrite.
I plan on releasing it in late summer, 2016. Finally!
Anyway. You get the idea. Writing is a job that takes patience. This was my first novel--not my last. I had written two other novels after Cooper's Moon. .
I also rewrote those novels several times as well.
The moral of this story--don't fall in love with the first thing you write.
1. So Rule One in Writing is: Don't fall in love with what you wrote, BUT don't throw it away either. It might take several rewrites but the sentences and paragraphs and ultimately the story that you created will finally begin to take shape.
You are probably wondering why I rewrote. Was I that diligent? That perceptive? That aware of my own writing deficiencies?
Nope. I had the benefit of the critical eyes of my agent (Tris Coburn of Coburn Literary Management) as well as the patient and honest feedback (sometimes more than I wanted) from my wife, Karyn. She's used to editing. Her role as managing editor of a national magazine helped her deliver the bad news to me on more than one occasion.. Tris and Karyn were both merciless--yet kind--in telling me I had a lot of work to do.
2. Rule Two is: Get an unbiased (maybe even heartless) critic to read what you wrote. You will love what you have written--always! We authors always do. The unbiased--maybe heartless-- critic will give us the real story. Without that kind of feedback you will be venturing out into the maze of uploaded books (maybe as many as 300,000 a year) with no idea of how good (or bad) your book really is.
And....you don't want your readers to be your first critics. They can be unforgiving. Believe me.
Rules 3 and 4 later.
Stay in touch.