Monday, May 16, 2011
When is it time to shelve a novel?
Those of you who have been around the writing blog world for any length of time have seen articles or comments like this one Will Your First Novel Be Published? by agent Rachelle Gardner.
The article talks about how, for most writers, the likelihood of publishing their first or even second or third novel is slim. Rather, these books can be great building blocks for a writer to establish their voice and improve their craft. While this is honest advice, it can also be discouraging for new writers, especially those who write with the goal of publication in mind.
Does this mean you shouldn't give all you've got to your first and second and third novels? Absolutely not. Does this mean you shouldn't work and rework your first novels until you feel they are the best they can possibly get? No. Does this even mean you shouldn't HOPE you will be the one to buck the trend and land a multi-book deal off your first novel? No.
My first novel was published by a "real" publishing house. However, I feel I have gained more writerly knowledge by the writing of subsequent works than the publishing of my first book. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change my experience for the world, and having one publishing credit under my belt is a huge confidence booster. However, as I continue to learn and write, I wonder about these questions.
So, when do you STOP revising and sending out that novel and decide that it was one best used as "practice"? Maybe for some it's when they reach a certain number of rejections. For others, it may be if their rejections are only form letters. Others may shelve their novel if they never get a request for a full manuscript.
How do YOU know when to shelve your novel and move on to the next one?
Posted by Maggie at 7:48 AM