Reflections On My First Novel

Four years ago, I self-published my first novel.

Wow. I’m somewhat impressed with twenty-one year old Josh. That was no small feat. The amount of effort it took to write, edit, and format that beast…and all for what?

I’ve been planning on doing an e-book release for a while. You know how some tasks take a really long time, but in reality, it should’ve only taken a day or two? Yeah, I procrastinated on this e-book for four years, while it took me five minutes to convert my entire novel into a Kindle-ready version just now. Seriously. I used Kindle Create, a program so easy a baby could operate it. No wonder it took five minutes. I wasn’t planning on doing anything fancy with this thing anyway.

As I scrolled through the e-book version of this novel, I realized my writing was bad. This would be a first. I hadn’t looked at this novel in, well, four years. I would pick it up from time to time, flip through a few pages, laugh and remember how much fun I had writing a giant caterpillar chase scene. Now it makes me cringe.

The book starts off with the death of the protagonist’s parents. Dark. Gosh, why did I start off the book with that? What is this, Batman? The story’s supposed to be a light, fun, adventure novel. Mark’s parents dying is quite…over-dramatic.

I didn’t even read any dialogue, but I’m pretty sure it’s crap.

Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. Let me read some dialogue. Be right back.

Okay, it’s not bad. Not amazing, but not bad. Also, my writing style has not changed. The novel looks exactly the same as this blog. Sentence structure, word choices, everything is the same. This is a good thing, right? Means I’ve developed my own voice? Is reading my self-doubts engaging you, the reader? These are the questions.

I’m afraid of being one of those “bad” writers. You know what I mean. That chick who wrote the Twilight series has been publicly bashed by other famous authors. This woman’s writing is horrendous! At least she’s famous. Whoever wrote Fifty Shades of Grey is pocketing all those sweet book and movie royalties. I’m assuming she doesn’t care whether or not people hate her book.

Part of me wants to start a new novel. A good one. Josh, stop. The Mansion is a fine novel. Sure, it’s a little corny at times, but you finished it. It’s yours. Not a lot of people can say they finished an entire novel. Not a lot of people can say a lot of things. Doesn’t make it admirable. Say I do write a new novel. I’ll definitely have learned from my previous mistakes. Maybe writing The Mansion was a necessary step to write my next novel, if I can spare another four years of my life.

Psh. It wouldn’t take another four years. I’d make it shorter. I still can’t believe The Mansion was originally four hundred pages long. I ain’t no Tolkien. Short and sweet, that’s what my next novel should be.

I have more thoughts on my novel, but I’ll save that for another blog post. I’m going to publish this e-book now. Should be up sometime early April if everything goes well. Also, it’s going to be free. So that’ll be interesting.

Josh out.

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