Every story starts with an idea. When I first started writing, I'd had this idea in my head for a couple of years. I'd think about this character in the shower, while I drove, as I fell asleep at night. It was a classic fantasy. Swords, magic. No elves or dwarfs or anything like that, but a princess who saw her family murdered and she was the only one who escaped.
Ava was tough. She joined the army of the man who killed her family. Got close to him and plotted his demise. There was a prince, family secrets, betrayal and death.
I loved it.
But it didn't work. I had no idea what I was doing. While my story was cool, (in my mind) I didn't know the mechanics of writing. I didn't know what a critique group was, or what deep editing and revising was. I did edit, but not like I do now.
I did query my book, but only got one bite. It was sad to put it aside, but necessary. I know it wasn't good enough. Neither was my dreaded second novel. But that's why we write. To learn from our first few attempts. It only makes us better. :)
I wish I knew then, what I know now about writing. I can see I've improved. A lot. I actually call myself a writer now. Probably because I realized how much writing means to me. How it makes me feel when I finish a chapter or a scene. I can't even describe what finishing a book is like. All I can say is that it's awesome. Every. Single. Time. And even though I put my first book away, it's one that will always be with me because it was the first book I wrote. And someday, I really want to revisit that world. I've been thinking about it for a long time, actually. I will rewrite it. Probably from scratch and in a whole new way, but I would like to do it.
I have to finish a few others first though. ;)
Are you working on your first book? Did you put your first book aside? What was it like? Do you still love it?