I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about how to make your writing leaner. I know from experience how daunting that can be, but that experience has made me a much stronger writer today.
Probably 6 years ago or so, I decided to write a novel. I knew nothing. NOTHING. Absolutely nothing.
But I had read a whole slew (or six slews) of novels, so I wasn't in the least bit daunted.
The story ended up at over 170 000 words.
Yup, you read that right.
Then I stumbled upon Agent Query Connect and started to learn what writing a novel was all about. I learned a lot. Backstory, dialogue tags, strong verbs instead of verb/adverb combinations, echoes, tension, conflict, character arcs...
So I revised. And revised again a couple of (dozen) times.
Eventually, the story was down to 81 000. Less than half. And it was SO much better!
But I wouldn't trade the experience of writing that story in all its over-padded glory for anything. It will always have a safe place in my hard drive. I learned more from writing that story ... and revising that story ... than I could have from a dozen classes.
How about you? Any fond memories of your first serious attempt at writing?