Back where I began…

My writing has come full circle.

I finished writing my first novel.  Again. This story was the one that started me on this publishing odyssey. How did it all begin? I read a book. It was written by a fairly well-known author, and what intrigued me was the fact it was about a married couple. In romance, the norm is that when the marriage occurs, it’s time to move on to the happily ever after and end the story. So I was really excited to see a story where marriage was already in place when the story began.

Much to my disappointment, I quickly lost interest. As far as plot or characterizations, I can’t even remember my opinion. No, what turned that novel into a “wall-banger” was the way the heroine was portrayed. The author went to great lengths to let the reader know that the heroine was almost forty, but that she still looked like a teenager. I seriously have a dent in the wall where I threw the book. I sat down that very day and started writing a story about a married couple where the heroine has all the faults and foibles of a person who is close to forty. Once I started writing, I was hooked for life.

I still consider that story idea one of my most innovative. Unfortunately, I didn’t know my craft. As I learned the proper way to write, I worked on tweaking and editing that story, giving it at least three major overhauls. Then I put it away, figuring it would always be my “practice” story. The one that got away…

A few months ago, I decided to see if I could give that story the treatment it deserved, so I pulled up all the files and hit “delete.” That took a lot of guts because I knew it would be gone forever. But I did it! Then I started from scratch, trying to do justice to what I consider a beautiful idea for a romance about a married couple. I finished that story a few days ago, and I couldn’t be prouder. Not only is it the first manuscript I’ve completed in a while — although I can justify that with the fact I was editing FIVE books this past year! — I really think I have a winner with this book. If I can count this as a “new” manuscript, that means I have finished ten complete stories since I started writing in December of 2005.

And that makes me smile.

*hugs*
Sandy James

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2 Responses to “Back where I began…”

  1. LK Hunsaker Says:

    Sandy, I love this background into your writing start. Yes, a 40 year old looking like a teen is not something I want to hear about, either … being a 40-something and NOT looking anywhere like a teen. Give me real people any day.

    I’m so glad you rewrote your first story and will look forward to when it’s released. But deleting all of your first attempts! Wow. Braver than I am. I keep everything. I keep it stuck up on a shelf where no one gets to see it, but I keep it.

  2. Sandy James Says:

    Thanks!! I hope my agent can find this story a nice home. It’s definitely “outside the box,” which can be a very bad thing or a very good thing. I’ll keep you posted.
    As far as deleting the files, I figured it would take away my “crutch” and keep me from checking back to see what I wrote before. I wanted this to be fresh. I sure hope it turned out that way.

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