I’ve seen it so many times before on different writing blogs and videos. “You’re first novel is going to suck.” I always felt terrible after seeing that. It would make me not want to write my novel yet because I wanted mine to be perfect. (*cough* perfectionism *cough*)
Well, NaNoWriMo helped me finish Farryn and here I am with my first published novel! Yay! But it’s my first novel...are those people telling the truth? Does it suck? There are things I love about it...there are also things I know it needed improvements on. Am I proud of Farryn?
What I Love About My Novel
The first spark of the idea for Farryn excited me and throughout the brainstorming and plotting process, I was chomping at the bit to write this story. The Rapunzel retelling, friendship, betrayal, hostages and escapees, an impostor, reuniting family, and all the action and adventure...Writing it was fun to say the least.
Farryn was the first character I came up with. Actually, she just kind of came to my mind randomly. She was my favorite character to write and was the character that made this story. I mean, the book is named after her… Fun fact: Farryn means adventurous; it matches her personality perfectly. Lily and Carver were two other characters that were also my favorite to write! I loved writing Lily’s personality and Carver is so sweet; I actually like him better than Emerson, the other MC!
The cover for Farryn was so much fun to create! Frustrating at times, but fun nonetheless. For both covers, I used myself and colored my hair red to match Farryn’s in the book. I was a little anxious about using myself on the front cover, but my final cover grew on me. It looks pretty professional (at least, for me being an indie publisher it does). Fun fact: the picture on the cover was from my prom two years ago!
What Needed Improvements
Although I loved the idea of Farryn and I had fun writing it, the story lacked something very important. Subplots. There were small subplots (Emerson and his family, Farryn with hers), but even now I’m having trouble remembering any. Subplots help create depth in stories, and Farryn needed more.
Characters are one of my favorite components to create. I love writing what they look like, what their backstory is, what their fears and flaws are, etc… And, like I said above, I loved writing my characters, but I could’ve done a little more with them, add a little more depth. I could've put them in more mental conflict within themselves, pit one of their values against the other.
Another problem in this novel are the scenes. Through running in woods, escaping captivity (becoming captive again), running more (and more and more), and a battle, etc...There’s a ton of action scenes and not a lot of rest scenes. You need both or else the reader can’t “catch their breath.” My grandmother said she was panting by the end of the book, haha!
Am I Proud?
Just because my first novel isn’t as good as my favorite novels, doesn’t mean I’m not proud.
I'm proud that I finished.
I'm proud of my book cover.
I'm proud for this novel that started my author journey.
I'm proud for publishing through my fear of my creative work being public.
My first novel is the starting point. I can only go up from this. So yes, I am proud of my novel...through the mistakes, through the plot holes, through the underdeveloped characters...
I'm proud to call Farryn my first novel.
I don’t believe anyone’s first novel is going to “suck.” I’ve seen plenty of authors with great debut novels! And even if your novel isn’t as good as those debut novels, doesn’t mean yours is bad. You learn a lot after your first novel and every book you write. Just like me, as long as you know what you need to improve on, you will get better at writing!
Be proud of every writing piece you've worked hard on.