For the next week or two most of us are going to be talking about Firsts. Firsts lines, books, chapters, kisses, fights...first anythings, really. And I wanted to talk about my first manuscript. The first full manuscript I ever wrote and what it taught me and what I gained from it.
It's no surprise, if any of you have read my bio on here or know me, that I didn't really get into reading and writing until a few years ago. Don't get me wrong, I liked reading. I just never made the time for it like I do now and I didn't even really read YA. It wasn't until my sister shoved the Twilight books on me that I actually got into reading and YA. (And when I say shoved I mean it literally!) So it was after devouring the Twilight books and any other YA vampire books that I could find that I really started writing. I had played around a little with writing before then, but nothing serious--nothing that made me think I wanted to do this for real someday.
So, you might be able to guess that my first manuscript was a YA vampire story. This was before I even learned anything about the industry and how things took years to go from an author writing it to actually being in print. I went in thinking, 'Man this rocks. It's hard, but I'm writing a book! And it's gonna be awesome! And get published!'
Bless Danielle, is all I have to say. She was my first (another first!) critique partner and she read this vampire monstrosity of a story that I wrote. This story will always hold a special spot in my heart because it is what made me serious about writing, but let's be honest, it was not good. In fact, it was pretty terrible.
But that's okay with me. Because even though this book will never see the light of day ever again (and I don't want it to! lol) I learned so much from it. My first manuscript was an amazing learning experience. Through it, I learned how to craft a story better, how to create sentences worth reading, how to develop characters and plots and so much more! I also learned what critique partners and beta readers were. I learned so much about the industry from research and making connections all because I decided one day to write. I decided to do the most I could to break into this industry that stole my heart. (Cliche sounding, I know, but it's true.)
I wouldn't change my writing journey for anything. My first manuscript taught me so much and I'm so thankful for all that I've learned from it and all the people I've met because of writing it. That story led me to where I am now--and so many more firsts: first blog, writing event, request, agent, and so on! I can't wait to see what other firsts are waiting for me, all because of one little story that had to be written.
What did your first manuscript/story/poem/ect. teach you?