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Saturday, August 20, 2005

“Into the Sunset”—Not so bad!

After I finished a tight draft of my first novel Into the Sunset last year, I wrote a query letter and sent it out. I got a couple of bites, and two requests for partial manuscripts. After two rejections, I figured I better just sit down and write a better book. The reason I thought this was because many of the books on writing I had read basically said, “Your first book will suck, so write it and get it over with. Then write the second one with the experience you learned with the first one.” So I did. And it was easier (and faster) to write the second novel. I’m very happy with this second novel, and think it will eventually find representation. Along the way, I bought into the fact that first novels suck. In my mind, I began to believe my first book wasn’t very good. I was even kind of afraid to go back and look at it again. Then a funny thing happened. I did go back to the first one after a seven month break to see if I could salvage it in any way. Though it did need some work, I was totally surprised at how good it was. I did a new draft, starting from page one on. I sharpened it, added more humor, fleshed out some scenes, slowed down the pace of other scenes. When I made it to the last page I immediately went back to page one and started again, and kept writing, and writing. It is now a lot funnier than before, the lead character is more rounded, and the overall voice of the story is stronger. Last week, I sent out my first query letter for this novel in six months. So it starts again...

5 comments:

SusanD said...

Good for you, Don.

I have to say that in all honesty, I'm dying to read this book! From what you've said about it, it really appeals to me. And I'm betting you're going to get picked up by a big agent, too. Keep us posted.

Also, I just noticed you have a link to Christopher Moore in your links. Do you dig him? I LOVE his books. I think he's about he funniest guy writing today.

Don Capone said...

Thanks Susan. I queried Jonathan Ames's agent. If/when she rejects I'm thinking of trying the small presses. I'm tiring of the whole agent game.

Love Chris Moore. Cool guy too. I saw him on the Lust Lizard tour.

Tom Saunders said...

I think a good idea remains a good idea even you if don't quite do it justice the first time through.

Don Capone said...

Thanks, Tom. I'm sure it'll pass, but right now I'm really excited about this book. I think my last draft really pushed it over the hump. I'm going to send out some more query letters this weekend.

Tom Saunders said...

Yeah, go for it.