Novel Found

I found my novel. Rather, I found the first draft of the beginning of my novel. It was where I thought it should have been, and where I had looked at least six times before seeing it.

The reason I failed to notice its present in the drawer it occupied is that I was looking for an 8 1/2″ x 11″ pad of yellow lined paper. For some reason, I thought that’s the medium I used to start the novel. But I had actually started it on a small pad of decorated notepaper that had only a few remaining sheets and when I filled the last sheet I continued the story on a partially used steno pad. I was not looking for the small pad of decorated notepaper and so I ignored it when I glanced at it. Admittedly, this seems not to portend the birth of a remarkable work of fiction.

But who can tell? Some amazing stuff has been written on unlikely places. Bathroom walls, napkins, desk tops, and the undersides of bleacher seats have all offered empty spaces for the exercise of creativity. I find that notebooks and napkins are the easiest of those to take with you for editing.

Now that I’ve found my incipient novel, I have no excuse for not continuing my work on it. Before I get started, though, I have to evaluate the progress of my attempt to gain the interest of a literary agent for my completed novel. So far, I’ve received one response from seven agents. That’s not an auspicious beginning for my search. There are more agents out there, though, and I intend to contact some of them. For my next batch of query letters (or emails), I’ll select 11 agents and change the verbiage of my query. Maybe there was something missing from my first composition that would have piqued someone’s interest just enough to get a response. I’ll have to think of something to add that might just do the trick.

I’ve received feedback from one of my designated novel readers so far. It came from my brother whose opinion I value even though his opinion and mine differ on many philosophical and sociological fronts. He is a reader of some repute, and reported that he was disappointed upon reaching the novel’s end because there was no more of it to read. I took that as a compliment. He also provided specific criticism that highlighted several issues that I have noted and will address in a final brush up.

In the archives of this blog (accessible via the “Categories” and the “Monthly archives” links on the right side of this page), there are a half dozen or more potential novels. It only takes the writing of a paragraph to get one started. After that, amazingly, the other hundreds or thousands of paragraphs grow out of that seed. The only thing is, a human being must be in attendance every minute of the growth process, tilling, watering, and fertilizing. It’s a wonder that so many novels are cranked out, considering the work involved. Just think how many novels (like mine) have been written and remain unpublished, perhaps never to become a real book.

We all have stories to tell. Some of us speak them. Some of us write them.

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