I wrote a book and it was fan-fiction. I wanted to see if I could plot without worrying about characterization.
And I could! I promptly shoved the book under the bed after having one of the kids draw a cover for it. Literally, it’s under the bed.
My second book I completely threw caution to the wind. I wrote a near-future science fiction book about a hot blonde teen girl named Bunny who was a polymath with an eidetic memory, living in a Washington coastal town during an economic downturn. The town had a nasty past, an “interesting” relationship with the local Indian tribe and… a vampiric alien.
It was a weird-ass book, but man, after a revision, I nailed the character voicing and the action scenes. I was fearless and it was way off the rails.
And I realized I could not sell it. This was not a book to launch a writing career as a novelist.
This book was important in that it was the first book I sent to beta readers. It broke through that wall most writers put around themselves when they are in that “this is a bit of crap but its good enough to get feedback.” zone. On one hand, you have to set your fears of your writing chops and worry that you’re using your friends aside and get feedback.
On the other, you need a dose of reality.
After the revisions I realized that I loved that book. I loved it very much. But I didn’t love it enough to sell it. In a sense, I picked the wrong book to write or the right book at the wrong time. This was a failure, in a way. I spent almost a year on it.
Ah, well. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning anything.
But someday I will come back to Bunny. Cause Bunny rules.