Steph Bowe did it. She coaxed me out of the dark corner I've been hiding in...
I have been working on my novel for a while. Quite a while. Like, this is probably year 4, or maybe 5 depending on when you started counting. Now, I know we're supposed to write that first novel and then throw it in a drawer and write something else to submit to publishers and agents, but I just like this story too well to diss it like that. I'll finish polishing it up this year, and then I'll start querying again, and we'll see what happens.
As far as the length of time it has taken me, well, the whole first 3 years of that time I really don't count, except for the part where I won a fellowship, because that part was awesome :-)
I was just such a newbie to the craft of writing in those early days. I've always written, of course, but this time it had to be good enough for others to read, and that meant 3 years of writing, and learning, and writing some more.
No information dumps, get rid of your adverbs and passive voices, don't get too flowery with adjectives or dialogue tags, keep your eyes on the end of the story and move your MC toward it in every scene, get rid of too-familiar tropes, show don't tell, simplify.
Three hard years of making all these mistakes and more, and then revising each time I realized that one of these things was bogging down my story... and finally this year, though I have much more to learn, and always will, I feel like I am finally proud of my story! Even if it never sees the light of day, or if I have to revise it a few more times, I'm still proud of it.
Which leads me to explain the title of my post. For the first time, I'm happy enough with my story that I've actually posted the first few paragraphs of it where people can see it and critique it. I'm really excited to hear people's feedback! Eventually I will post a bit of it here as well, but right now you can read it on Steph Bowe's blog, where she's put up a 250-word "share what you're writing" post. She's making comments on everyone's pieces, and encouraging others to give feedback as well. So go, post a piece of your own, and if you want, tell me what you think of mine too!
PS, My piece is posted in two comments, one below the other, because it wouldn't all fit in one. Thanks to Valerie for pointing out that this could be confusing :-)