My Novel Backlog Problem

My earliest desire to become a writer came from when I was in third grade and was given an assignment to write a short story. Apparently I ran with it and wrote a story four pages long, longer than what most of my classmates wrote. The teacher thought my story was so good she decided to read it in front of the class. Then in fifth grade I was given an assignment of writing a short story. But the teacher phrased it oddly, she told us to write a “novel” (even though the novel would only be five pages). I received an A for that assignment and also glowing feedback from the teacher praising my story. It was crucial that she used the word “novel” to describe the assignment, because it got me thinking, what if I did write a novel? I did some quick mental calculation and discovered that if I wrote a page a day and continued for one year, I would eventually write a novel-length work.

Before I knew it 7 years have passed and I wrote 4 or 5 different novels. (I am glossing over a lot of details, but many things happened in these 7 years that require another blog post to do justice to it all.) In my naiveté when I finished writing a first draft I declared the novel finished. I never thought of going back and revising the work. To be truthful, when I reread my work I am often disappointed by the quality, but instead of rewriting the novels I merely treated it as practice for writing the next novel. I thought that if I practiced enough by writing novel after novel, I would eventually get to the point where I could write a first draft that’s publishable. Maybe some novelists can do this, but I learned that it’s not usually the case.

One of my peculiarities is that I never failed to find inspiration for writing new novels. Whenever I work on one, two or three new ideas would pop into my head. By now I have more ideas for novels than there is time to write them. I have written so much material during high school and college that I can literally spend the rest of my life rewriting and revising the material to make it worthy for publishing, yet still I have ideas for books in my head that beg to be put on paper.

While I would like to work on new novels, I also have this incredible backlog of first drafts that are in a limbo state; they are on their way to becoming novels but aren’t completely finished. Recently I took the decision of taking one of these novels, editing it so it would at least be readable, and putting it on this blog. I am putting it out in small chunks because editing takes a long time, and I don’t have enough time in my schedule to do it all at once. Why do I plan to do with it afterwards? I have no idea, but if it gets a good response then maybe I would try more earnestly at creating a good final draft that will be published in a more traditional way. At this moment I don’t think it’ll be possible, but I can only hope.

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