Tuesday, December 6, 2011

20 ways to NOT write your first book

Ever since I announced my book deal, I've had a LOT of people ask me if KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES is my first book. And... technically it is.

I'd written a few not-so-good screenplays and the first 1/3 to a very bad grown-up novel (me? writing for grown-ups? seriously--what was I thinking?????) before this, but KEEPER is the first book I've ever finished.

However, you should NOT take that answer to mean that I cranked out this story and--bam! A few months later: awesome book deal with dream editor!!! That was most definitely NOT the case. And since I'm all about keeping it real, I thought it was time to share the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth with you guys as far as just how NOT insta-success my writing journey truly was.

So strap yourselves in because in order to properly do that we have to rewind allllllllllllllllllllll the way back to February of 2007. (Yes, really) That's when the idea for KEEPER first came to me.

Two of the main characters were actually part of a short story I was working on. But the more I thought about them, the more I realized they had BIG EXCITING STORIES TO TELL. And even though I knew this series would be incredibly challenging to write, I also knew that it was "The One."

So I started with research. Lots and lots and lots of research.

Every single one of these journals is FILLED with notes, brainstorms, and other odds and ends written in super tiny print. I also put google and wikipedia to very thorough use, printing up all kinds of (often boring) articles and writing lots of notes for myself in the margins.

It took me until December of 2008 to reach a point where I felt like I'd figured out all I needed to figure out in order to tell the story. Then it was time to start writing. Too bad I had NO idea how to do that.

At first I was just sort of... playing around. I'd pick a scene that interested me and I'd write it. I didn't work in any sort of order. I didn't try to connect the scenes together. I'd created a file called Master Draft 1--but I psyched myself out of pasting anything into it because it felt like if I put something in there it had to be PERFECT. So I just kept creating separate scenes in separate files. Which is how I ended up with 103 deleted scenes before I ever wrote one word of a real draft.


Mind you, many are the same scene written 7, 8, 9 different times. But yeah. NOT a smart way to write a book.

I stuck with this ineffective writing method until April of 2009, when I went to Project Book Babe. Then I got to hear real authors talk about their approach to drafting and realized, I'm doing this ALL wrong. More importantly, I realized that I really, really, REALLY wanted to be a published author. So it was time to get my butt in gear and actually write this dang thing for realz.

I came home from the event and started Master Draft 2. And this time I started at the beginning and just wrote. But about halfway into the book I realized yeah... something's wrong. So I copied and pasted the few salvageable parts and started Master Draft 3. Got about halfway into it and realized I was on the wrong track again. Rinse and repeat with Master Drafts 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, with each draft falling apart by the time I reached the middle. And by draft 10 I was getting afraid that I'd never figure it out.

So I went back to brainstorming. Reread all my idea journals. Read a truckload of other middle grade novels trying to learn what they were doing right. And after a few weeks I finally had an epiphany. It wasn't that something was WRONG with my idea. It was that something was MISSING.

I'd held back too many of my ideas, thinking I should save them for books 2 and 3. But I hadn't done enough with book 1 to make anyone want to continue with the story. So I needed to go back and add MORE.

Which... basically meant throwing out everything I had and starting all over AGAIN. But at least I had a plan this time!

Well... sorta.

It took me Master Drafts 11 and 12 to figure out the best way to properly weave the new plotlines in. I'd also started working with crit partners, and they caught several fundamental plot and craft mistakes, all of which made me go back and re-write a lot of things to fix those errors. So I didn't actually type "The End" and have a complete draft of the entire story until Master Draft 13.


That was in January of 2010. And sadly, that was STILL only the beginning.

I queried Master Draft 13 at the end of February. Two weeks later I had an offer of representation from Laura Rennert, my #1 wish list agent. It was very, very exciting. BUT, Laura's offer also said this:
"I want to be completely upfront with you about the fact that there is still work to be done on the ms, so you can make the decision about whether I'm the right agent for you or not. I hope I am!"
She went on to elaborate her revision ideas, most of which involved building on things she felt were currently underdeveloped in the draft--and she was spot on with all her suggestions. So I accepted her offer of representation and she sent me my VERY detailed revision notes (5 single spaced pages!!!).

I worked through each and every note, and sent her back Master Draft 14--which earned me an email that basically said, "you're close." She also included another two pages of notes, but at that point I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, so I cranked through the revision super quick. Which brought me to Master Draft 15.

I'll confess, I really really thought it was "The One." So did Laura. And in some ways, it was close. But it still wasn't RIGHT, as we found out the hard way when it started piling up rejections. And in the end Laura told me:
"I think you're extremely talented ... and I believe we're going to get there, but maybe not with this iteration."
Yeah ... that was hard.

What made it harder was that I really didn't know where to go from there. All I knew was that I needed to change things--but I had no idea what to change. So I just sort of dove in blind and started tweaking stuff--NOT the best approach to a revision.

Especially since I wrote that revision from a place of fear and insecurity--which was NOT a healthy mindset to be creative. I knew it was probably affecting my writing, but I couldn't squelch the self-doubt. So I just did the best I could, sent off Master Draft 16 and hoped Laura would be happier with it than I was.

She wasn't.

Instead I got what I now lovingly refer to as The Email of Doom. The first sentence was:
"You've done good work on this... I'm wondering, though, if you need to step back and consider going deeper still..."
Followed by 13 (yes--13!!!) single spaced pages of comments/suggestions. And this time she was suggesting BIG changes.

I ... cried for an entire day.

I felt like I would NEVER get the draft right--and I wasn't even sure if I wanted to work on it anymore. I was SO tired of tearing my book apart and trying to piece it back together. I didn't know if I could do it again.

So I typed up an email saying, "I give up"--and then emailed my crit partners begging them to stop me from sending it to Laura. They told me to ask for a phone call, and then they helped me brainstorm a plan of attack to discuss with her. Laura and I talked a few days later and I felt a little better and decided to try one. more. time. But when I finally got to work it was still the hardest revision I've ever done.

Every time I opened the draft I got nauseous. I lost a lot of weight. I barely slept. Eventually I caved and asked Laura to check the first few chapters to see what she thought, and definitely cried when I heard back:
"I think you're totally on track!"
And I should pause here and also emphasize that while yes, Laura was pushing me HARD throughout this process, she also did do her best to encourage me. She always slipped little notes like this in her emails:
"I completely believe in you. We are going to get there one way or another."
And that helped, because I really needed to hear that--and I *tried* to believe her. But it was still a super painful process, and when I finally turned in Master Draft 17 I was a nervous wreck waiting for feedback. Every time I saw an email pop up in my inbox I got a stomach ache, worrying it was going to be another Email of Doom--and wondering if I'd survive it if it was.

But when I did finally hear back, I got this:
"I'm wowed by what you've accomplished with this revision! You've done an amazing job and have been willing to go deep in a way that I know is daunting, and I believe the results are superb"
She still had some small tweaks and adjustments for me (would you expect anything less at this point?), so I created Master Draft 18, made the changes and sent it to her. And that's when she finally, FINALLY said the words I'd been waiting to hear:
"Absolutely fantastic work! We're ready to go, and you've done a phenomenal job with the revision."
I had to read it three times to believe it. And yes--I TOTALLY cried. But they were happy tears this time. :)

It'd taken me 2 years of research and another 2 years of writing/revising--and 18 drafts!!!!--but I was finally, FINALLY done.

Not long after that we went on submission, and I'll admit, after all I'd been through with the project I had a hard time believing it could really land me book deal. Which was why I was totally confused when my phone rang with Laura's name in the caller ID. I NEVER expected her to tell me I had a three book pre-empt offer from an editor whose books I'd admired for years.

But Laura forwarded me the offer so I could see it myself. And it was REAL. And probably the most amazing thing I'd ever read.

Well... until Liesa sent me this, after the deal was finalized and she was officially working as MY editor:
"I did my closer read/edit of the manuscript, and had SO MUCH FUN doing it. Seriously, I loved the book even more this time, which I didn't think possible, but it helps getting to read it knowing it's something that's officially mine now. :)"
And amazingly enough, when I got my edits she didn't have too terribly many notes for me (at least not compared to the Email of Doom). But she did of course have SOME (that is kind of her job, after all). So that brought me to Master Draft 19.

I've never officially created any further drafts for the project, but I did make some changes during copyedits--and will probably make a few more tweaks in the next read-through. So I think it's more than fair to say that when it finally goes to print you guys will be reading Master Draft 20.

Yes, that's right. 

It took me 20 drafts to write my first book. 

And I'm telling all of you that (well... those of you who've stuck with me through this rather lengthy post) because I don't want any of you to ever get discouraged if you have to scrap a draft and start over--or shelve a project and move onto something new. Writing is a process. 

Yes, sometimes that process goes smoother for some authors than others. (Or for some books. So far Book 2 is coming MUCH easier than Book 1). But the majority of the time authors will tell you their journey was a long, hard, revision-filled road to get that first book deal--and that even then it was only the beginning. That's definitely been the case for me.

I'm not embarrassed that it took me that many drafts to write my first book. Sure, it would've been nice if it hadn't been *quite* such a painful process. But that was the path I had to take in order to learn how to tell this particular story. And in the end, all that mattered was that I stuck with it and kept going, despite how brutal it was at times. Which is--in my humble opinion--the secret to publishing success. Keep going. Keep writing. Keep pushing yourself to grow and improve. 

Your journey *may* take longer than you think and it *may* be more work than you expected. But if you stick with it you WILL get there. I promise!


  1. Thanks for sharing your process. Though I'm sorry it took you so many drafts, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has had a tortured, sometimes frustrating process to get the first book done. I've been working on mine for about 8 years or more and am finally getting the okay from my critique partner that with some quick fixes I'm ready to query.

    Can't wait to read your book.

  2. Shannon, reading this made me feel so happy! Don't get me wrong, I'm sorry for all the pain and stress you had to endure, but I can relate to this SO much (although, I am agent-less and about 10 master drafts behind you at this point). So many times I've been like, 'OMG I am the slowest writer ever. Maybe I should quit this book and start something new.' But I know this idea is 'The One' and this post is so much extra motivation to stick with it!! Thanks! :-)

    1. Noooooooooooo
      Don't quit! Lo, you should check out Rick Riordan's advice for writers. Then look at the question Any Advice for young people who might want to be authors? On the very bottom, it says to never give up on your book just roll with it!

      20 drafts Shannon???????? X | oh wow......yeesh. Well... I bet it was worth it! It one of my favorite books! (I would like for you to know that says a lot) : )

    2. So I'm a young writer and I've started about 20 books, yes 20, and haven't finished a one. When I read your book I thought to myself, how am I ever gonna be like her? And then my idea struck me. See I'm only 12 and I'm pretty sure I've been pressuring myself way to much. Every time I read a book I want to write one like that. Is that normal? Plz tell me it is! Lol. I'm trying not 2 give up on my new story but it's hard! Plz email me wat u think Shannon. I already emailed u a question anyway. Lol

  3. Shannon - you star!! I'm on draft - ahem - 48? LOL!!! Aww but well done you and yay for your agent for pushing you to do your best and to achieve your most perfect writerly self!! Yay!!!! Thanks for sharing - what an AMAZING journey!! Take care

  4. Shannon, this post made me tear up. Thank you for sharing your journey to agenthood and publication. Sometimes, when I see bloggers/writers I've been following move forward, I feel left behind. I've always known they were fabulous, and now so does everyone else. And I'm happy for them. Like you! Often, I allow myself to get blinded by that, though, and let myself think it will never happen for me. I am blessed to have grown so much in the short amount of time I've been writing. I won't give up on my story. Thanks for being an inspiration! Can't wait for KEEPERS!

  5. Thanks for writing this post. I love knowing what other writers went through on their publishing journey. I can't wait to read your book. How many pages is it? Did you have to keep it at a certain word count because it's a MG book? I was wondering because JK Rowling's books didn't stick to the standard MG word count. . . Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading your book, and I'm so happy for you. :)

  6. Whenever I actually FINISH a draft, I am cocky enough to think that it is actually done...it never is.

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey!


  7. Yeah...I'm fixated on the fact that you LANDED THE FIRST AGENT YOU QUERIED, WITHIN IN TWO WEEKS.

    The sleep-deprived side of me is absolutely, bitterly jealous of that fact, but the major part of me is too inspired by this post. ;P

    Dude, I'll work on a book for 4 years if that's what happens.

  8. This is really encouraging even though it probably should be the opposite. It makes me see that I should continue on and be willing to work hard and that, of course, this isn't easy but it is doable if I stick with it!

  9. I appreciate your tenacity.

    Twenty drafts: thanks for the dose of reality.

  10. You did it! Sounds like your hard work paid off!! This is such a fabulous success story, and very encouraging. How great to have an agent who is so encouraging and helpful!

  11. Yeah, I think I might be on draft 20 or so by now, too. Only since late 2008, though. ;)

    It's rough getting that sort of email from your agent, but they wouldn't even bother if they didn't believe in you and your work!

  12. Shannon, thanks for sharing your post. I have been working on my novel since 2003 and I've lost track of how many drafts I've started. Finally, I had a publisher ask for a full, gave me pages of redlined text (which I am ecstatic about), along with an offer to resubmit. Now I'm on another draft, practically a re-write, so I can understand completely what this process feels like. I know I cried when I first got my MS back with critiques written all over it, but I am one of the lucky ones to find someone who believed in my work so much to take the time to pass on the suggestions. While the re-write is taking longer than I hoped, the story is deeper and richer for it. I just have to stick with it and not give up, and your post has given me hope that I can do it (even when I feel like I can't). Thank you for the post. You're an inspiration to many.

  13. Thank you so much for this post. I needed to read a post like this. I think it helps writers to know that books don't jest happen overnight that there are revisions and rewrites and research. Congratulations on your success.

  14. Yes, your journey helps us a lot in not quitting because it often slaps us in the face many times. Even tho we know we're not alone it helps to read about it too - since it often feels that way. Thanks!

  15. Oh my gosh...you could not have posted this at a more perfect time. I'm about ready to scrap draft AGAIN, and the knowledge that the next draft probably won't be the last is making me want to run away. So, THANK YOU. Really, thank you for sharing this. It's exactly what I needed today :)

  16. Wow, thank you so, so much for this. I feel inspired and energized. But in a realistic way, like I can actually do this. I'm only a couple weeks away from finishing my first draft (I think), so we'll see how this goes.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  17. WOW. Shannon, I had no idea. Thanks for your honest post! It's encouraging to us, really. And it sounds like you did wonders with your very FIRST book. (It was like you wrote 20 books!!) For myself, I'm surprised my agent accepted my novel in the first place, as much as she had me revise it (is HAVING me revise it; it's still ongoing).

    Anyway, big congrats on your hard work and perseverance; it really paid off! ((hugs))

  18. Oh.my.Goodness. I SO needed to read this today. I'm working on rewrites right now and thinking that I just need to scrap all but the bare bones and go deeper into the characters and the story. Then I started doubting myself - that I could pick it all apart and find something worth keeping under all the rubble. This is just the kind of 'been there, done that' story I needed to read today!

    I'm sorry you had to go through all the writerly angst but SO glad you chose to share your journey with us.

  19. Great post, Shannon! Thanks so much for being honest about what it really took to get to publication. I'm glad you stuck with it and look forward to the final product. WTG!

  20. Shannon - Thanks for such an honest post. I'm sure it wasn't easy to write! I loved it in the fact that you showed your ups and downs and weren't embarrassed to do so. I so needed to read this post today! It just shows that great things are possible if you work hard for it and have a great support group to lean on. And that writing takes TIME. Thanks!

  21. Wow, you're amazing, Shannon! A more than well-deserved book deal Can't wait!

  22. 20? Is that all?

    Just kidding. Your dedication is amazing and you've got what you deserved for your hard work.

  23. thanks so much for your honesty shannon--your journey is inspiring.


  24. And...now I love you more. You made me use the 'L' word!!!

    So glad you did not give up.

  25. Great story. I think this is very typical (be it one book with many drafts, or several novels before hitting on THE ONE), and it's good to hear it when we begin to doubt ourselves when a 'I wrote this and then six months later scored a deal!' type stories float around. This is real, real, real, and it makes me want to read your book all that much more, knowing how big your love was for this book!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  26. This is, like, the most encouraging post EVER. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Shannon! :)

  27. Shannon, this is like the EXACT thing I'm going through. My Email of Doom from Laura was two emails ago, and the last set of comments was "only" five pages long. Going to Big Sur made it all better though. I feel more confident! (But still full of worry and doubt, somehow.)

  28. It was so refreshing to hear your honest telling of your journey. It is a scary road to publication, wrought with doubt and hard work, but I can tell you believe it was and is all worth it. Thanks so much for sharing.

  29. You give me hope in this a-tad-helpless situation I'm currently wading through - rewriting drafts and not getting it to be the way I want. I'm bookmarking this post so I can re-read it and not feel like bursting into tears (which I fell like more often than not recently). Thanks for sharing, Shannon.


  30. An amazing post that fills me with hope and faith. Thanks for sharing your journey with such honesty. Can't wait to read your book!

  31. Thanks so much for sharing. I think you landed the agent so fast because you'd already put in a lot of work.

    I am always a bit skeptical when I hear a writer say they've written a book in a short timespan, even if they qualify it with "but this doesn't work for everyone." Two authors in particular who've said this I could sense it in the book. And one I didn't know had written it in a matter of weeks until afterward. Sure there's editing and things, but it makes a huge difference to have someone invested who is pushing you to do your best work.


  32. Wow, wow and wow. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and being so honest. I can't wait to read this. Congrats (again) on your book deal. All the pain was worth it, right? :)

  33. So freaking happy for you!

    We are super lucky to have LR in our corner, no? :)

    My Email of Doom pretty much tells me that I am very talented but perhaps [manuscript in question] is not my best work. And sons of guns, she's usually right.

    But, wow, those OTHER emails from her? They are gold.

  34. Shannon, I'm so glad that other writers I know forwarded me the link to your blog post!

    You really are a brave woman to unveil your revision history like this. The naked truth shows us your strength during this entire process. What's so great about your post is that you've given all of us strength and imparted to us the importance of working hard on the stories of our hearts.

    Thank you, Shannon. Wishing you the greatest success!

  35. I was feeling kind of down not even five minutes ago about my writing, my drafting (hello, rewrite #4), about when I finally get the query, and how hard it is sometimes (not all the time!) to watch other people get exactly what I wish I had. this post helped a little :) thanks.

    (funnily enough, the captcha is 'auther'...)

  36. You are amazing for sharing this. It's both daunting (so much writing!) and heartening (perseverance!). Thank you, and congrats again!!!

  37. This was a fantastic post -- thank you for sharing in such depth what the road to publication was like for you. It is heartening for a person who is standing near the beginning of that road (although I've been honing my craft for some time) to know that it is possible to get to that Publishing House at the end of the road. Thank you!

    (I'm also grateful to Tammi Sauer who made me aware of this post, and of your blog.)

  38. I so enjoyed reading this post. You tell a darn good story about the story, girl.
    (And you have the most stunningly beautiful agent in the business, BTW.)
    But none of that^ would amount to a hill of juju beans if your novel wasn’t brilliant. No doubt it is.

  39. Thanks for sharing Shannon and reminding all of us that writing might be a labor of love but it's still LABOR! I'm so happy for your success and look forward to reading your book!

  40. What an amazing story! It really helps to hear these things from successful folks! I am a total coward about qeurying - but this gives me the hope to do it ... when I get the ms polished up properly! :)

  41. Wow! You're amazing.

    I had my first real exchanges with an editor recently. It's a short fiction piece for an anthology. There's like 2,000 words. And the edits almost killed me. Plus, the edito is actually a friend, so that probably made it easier. And still by Round 4, I wanted to bury myself in my back yard. How could a short short story be that hard?

    I'm really scared for the day I have to edit with an agent or editor. I already suck majorly at editing on my own.

  42. Wow, thank you guys so much--I'm so glad you found this post helpful. That's really why I decided to write it, I thought it might help people to know that even if it's NOT going easy, that doesn't mean you need to give up. It just means you need to keep trying. ((hugs to all))

  43. I really needed this today. I'm rewriting (again) for my agent and it was starting to feel like a never ending process. Thank you for making me feel better. *hug*

  44. Sing it, sister! ;-)

    That's just about what I went through for The Healing Spell. And I have 10 unpublished previous manuscripts I lovingly call my "practice manuscripts".

    SO happy you persevered, honey! Cannot wait to read it!
    xoxo, Kimberley

  45. So weird. I felt like I reading my own story there. Funny how much work it is, how many drafts, and how many years. Congrats, and I can't wait to read your masterpiece :)

  46. Wow, Shannon--this was really inspiring! I'm usually reluctant to tell people how long ago I started making notes for my novel, since it seems like everyone else I know whose querying wrote theirs over the course of a couple of months earlier this year or something. I'm so glad that your long journey finally paid off, and I can't WAIT to read your book when it comes out! =)

  47. And here I was thinking no one had ever made it as hard on themselves as me.

    Sorry I missed this.

  48. What an amazing journey, Shannon. Thanks, SO MUCH, for sharing this! I go through the "This story is awesome!" and "I can't write a frickin' grocery list right!" roller coaster ride with my writing FAR too often. I know we all do - but, it's easy to forget sometimes.

    It's the dedication and the hard work that people put in that really makes the difference. You're a poster-gal for those two things in author-land ~ :) Congrats, again!! So looking forward to reading your book!

  49. Thanks for sharing this Shannon. You are an encouragement to us all!

  50. Thanks for being so frank about how many drafts it took you and your discouragement, etc.

  51. This made me cry...what an amazing story, Shannon. Thanks for sharing it, it's an inspiration and a HUGE motivator for me. Congratulations! I can't wait to read!

  52. awesome post! great to read about all your strategies :-)
    I am still working on my "first" book, and by that I mean I've written three YA novels that I'm discarding as "practice" or a "lengthy writing exercise". No way around it, this is hard work!

  53. Hi, Shannon. Thank you for taking the time to share your journey to getting your book published. It has been a long journey, but well worth it, right?

  54. Awesome post! THANK you for sharing your story. It does give me courage to move forward...again...for the seventh time.

  55. Thank you for your honesty.

    Yes, it is that hard.

    Yes, it does take that long.

    Like you said, not giving up and being willing to dive deep are the keys.

    So happy for your success!

  56. Your story is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing it.

  57. I got a little teary-eyed! I've been going through a rough time working on a manuscript, and several times have wanted to give up... but this post is very inspiring, and makes me want to keep going. Thanks for posting!

  58. Ack! Blogger did eat my original comment.

    Thanks for sharing this, Shannon. I like the way you keep track of your drafts. I only count the ones that go from beginning to end, and that doesn't tell the story as well, especially on those drafts where I go over and over the same areas (the drafts that take 4-6 months). I'm glad you stuck with it, and I'm excited to read that 20th draft. :o)

  59. Wow. I am in awe of your perserverance! Glad you stuck with it!

  60. Thank you so, so much for sharing this. And wishing you the best of luck!

  61. erica shared your post with me, and i had to stop by to thank you for sharing your process with us! I'm glad you stuck with it and even happier book 2 is a little bit easier to write. Congrats to you! christy

  62. I already could not WAIT to read your book, but knowing how hard you worked to make it the best that it could be just makes me want to read it more!

    You have my admiration and respect for hanging in there!

  63. I'm so inspired! Thanks for sharing your story. Perseverance really is everything. I'm excited to read your book!

  64. Greatest post ever! This is why I am hooked on writer's blogs. Thank you for inspiring us by sharing your struggles and successes. It makes me appreciate finished works all the more. I think I need a good cry now...;)

  65. What sn awesome story. I def can relate! Thank you for sharing.

  66. Thank you so much for this post. I've been working on my book for about 2 years, have completely re-plotted and re-written about 4 times, have enough deleted scenes to fill 3 books, and am beyond frustrated with myself.

    Your story was so reassuring. I feel much less ashamed of my educational but extremely inefficient process now. THANK YOU.

  67. What an awesome post. Thanks for sharing. It helps us all feel less alone. Over the years I've learned that writing is a matter of persistence.

  68. Thanks for sharing. It was very helpful and i enjoyed in very much.

  69. This is an amazing story. You deserve great success, after all that effort! And what a terrific agent you have--such dedication! Talk about above & beyond. Most just say "Pass" or nothing at all! Well done, both of you.

  70. PS I only worked on my first book for seven years, so I kinda get it. ;)

  71. Awesome! I really *appreciate* this post!

  72. Loved this post! Thanks for sharing!!

  73. Your post encouraged me to take my time, however long that takes, with the novel I'm working on. It's the first I've attempted since my teen years and I really want it to be THE one.

  74. Thank you for sharing this! It was very good advice. I really needed it. My friend is writing a book and she needed some inspiration. :)

  75. Thank you so much! I am 12 years old and I am writing a book. I have been thinking about giving up, but you inspired me! Your books are one of my favorites, Eargon will always be my favorite. Anyways I'm getting off track, I thank you from the time you put into your books and this post. Thank you. Again.

  76. wow this is amazing. i am a huge fan, and seeing what you went through makes me love them even more! lots of people want to be writers, but very few actually do it...


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