Friday, May 7, 2010

Beginner's Blunder

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Warning: This is a scary story. Readers with weak stomachs, or who cringe easily might want to stop reading now.

So a good hard four months of writing, and it was done. My very own, very first book! It was beautiful. A classic. Destined for greatness. I just knew it.

My darling husband gave me The Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market so I could learn all about the submission process. And boy did I do my homework. I picked just the right agent, and sent off my perfectly-written and copy-edited query, and can you believe it!? She requested a partial!!!

If only I had spent so much time on my book. Seriously, are you ready for this? I'm more than embarrassed to admit it.

I sent my first draft.

No, not by accident. Just because I really thought my book was that wonderful. *blush*

I guess my first hint that my book needed work should have been the pained look on my mother's face whenever I asked what she thought of it. That was 8 years ago, and I think I've learned a little bit since then, but I still look back and wonder, WHAT WAS I THINKING!?!

Anyone else out there make a now-laughable beginner's blunder? I mean, surely I'm not the only one. . . . right? . . . RIGHT?! I'd love to hear your stories.


Caroline Starr Rose said...

Just saw your SRS list. I love LM Montgomery, Lloyd Alexander, and Narnia.

My first blunder came eleven years ago, when an editor requested three chapters of a (terrible) ms. I didn't know that meant the first three and sent this and that. Not impressive. I got a quick form rejection.

Lydia Kang said...

I have to admit my first blunder was pretty much the same as yours. I queried a novel that needed so much work and in the end, burned a lot of bridges. So, it's lurking in my hard drive. This time around, I didn't query so widely, so fast. I did 15, and realized it was time to revise.
Great post!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Yep! I queried my story way too soon. Like you, I've learned a lot since then, but ouch! I hate that memory. LOL!

Have a great weekend! :-)

Elle Strauss said...

I still make beginners blunders, and I've been at this a long time. My biggest errors are spelling mistakes.

Lisa and Laura said...

Ha! Want to know our dirty little secret? After we finished our first book we used family and friends as beta readers. Um...yeah. Needless to say, we got a bunch of requests, but no ONE wanted that hot mess of a manuscript. Oh well, live and learn, right?

Jackee said...

LOL! I've made many errors along the way. My dirtiest one being that I accidentally sent the rejecting agent a message I meant to forward to my husband about how sad I was about the attached rejection. So you know how everyone says not to reply to a rejection and whine that they didn't request more? I did that! Accidentally... but I still did that. :o)

beth said...

HAHAHA! I made every. Single. Error. In the book. Seriously. I remember with my first one, I sent it out immediately. Of course it never sold. Then I wrote another, and I knew it would be better: I would revise it. Revising meant, to me (at that time), going through a fixing commas and grammar. HA! I was such an idiot...

B.J. Anderson said...

Lol, I did the same thing seven years ago. Sigh. Now my first draft gets edited between 20 and 30 times before it's sent off. Live and learn I guess.

Jenny said...

I haven't made any errors, yet, but one of these days I'm going to get my nerve up and start submitting stuff....

Angela McCallister said...

This post has my name all over it! The agent I wanted most, most, most was queried at the top of my list. Not the best way to test out a query, and boy was that query atrocious! I'm ashamed of myself :)

Thanks for visiting my blog, and Happy Mother's Day!

Oh, PS, my mother's day gift was a big fat form rejection this morning, bleh :(

Victoria Dixon said...

Didn't KNOW about this site. I'm glad you mentioned it. Rookie mistakes? You mean like putting an entire book in first person - for EACH CHARACTER? Nah. You can't mean that....

Aisyah Putri Setiawan said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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