If at first you don't succeed
Updated: Jun 16, 2018
When I first began writing A Conspiracy of Ravens, I had grandiose notions of completing a draft in a year or two, maybe one or two edits, and then publishing! More than eleven years, at least seven versions, and countless edits later, I finally believe that the book may be ready for agents and publishers.
I would like to write a word of encouragement to other aspiring novel writers. If you are like me and did not graduate with a Creative Writing degree and do not have an author to tutor you, do not expect to publish your first draft (and maybe not even your second or third). Don't let that daunt you, though! Do not be afraid to just sit down and start writing.
My book began with only the imaginings of the world and one character. I hadn't the first notion of what my plot was going to be. My first, seat-of-the-pants train-wreck ended maybe one third of the way into the book when my attempted plot crumbled into embers. As nearly worthless as that first draft really was, I had learned important lessons about my characters and plot and about writing in general.
While I could not then comprehend how I would ever elevate that mess into something resembling a decent fantasy novel, the solution (as with most things in life) was that it would happen through many slow iterations. As daunting as that may sound, it is eventually doable if you take your writing a day at a time.
Which brings me to my last bit of advice for now. If you really want to write a book, then make writing time as important in your schedule as a part-time job. For me, this was a little over an hour a day, five to six days a week (which I would consider a minimum for the sake of coherency). As long as you make the time, you will get there eventually.
I hope to be able to provide more advice in the future. Best wishes to all who follow this path.