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My First Attempt

Nope, it wasn't pretty

By Dave RowlandsPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - September 2023
My First Attempt
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

When I was 17 I decided that I'd start writing a fantasy novel. Seems reasonable, right? Did to me at the time, too. I knew absolutely nothing about writing a book, so I simply took up a notebook and a pen and began scribbling. I wrote seven pages in that feverish first session, and figured upon reading that it was good enough (it wasn't, by a long shot!) and that I enjoyed it enough (this, however, completely fair and reasonable) to continue.

However, it still took a fucking long time to finish. More than a decade, truth be told, and then I had to rewrite it entirely in order to publish it via Kindle. It was still crap, but it was no longer presented in the first person, and it had been extended slightly.

I'll be perfectly honest, the initial response was actually very positive; I earned over $500 in slightly less than a week with absolutely no marketing other than the free stuff that Amazon will allocate you. A few positive reviews, no 5-star but a few with 4... then with one single 1-star review that actually, I will admit now, had a few points that I might have wanted to listen to... it all ceased.

I've just started a rewrite of this same novel, after unpublishing the original shit version a few years ago. The story is still fun and engaging, the characters memorable, the process laborious yet rewarding and entertaining (the writer has to be entertained, or else how the Hell is the reader supposed to be?) but now I have a couple more decades of experience and knowledge regarding this whole writing caper.

I would never claim to know what I'm doing, however, and I feel like many of you can relate to this... we just write. Some of it is glorious! Some is utter garbage. The public response to this first novel? In hindsight, I'd still call it successful, in the sense that I've learned from it. The rewrite is progressing slowly, as life is also happening at the same time and is often more demanding of one's time than perhaps it should be. That coupled with the sheer number of other stories that also need to be told that are slowly but surely tearing their way out of my subconscious are delaying things somewhat... but it will happen.

This time, as well, it will be properly edited. By an editor. Then by me, then the editor again. We won't publish until and unless we're BOTH satisfied with the result. It is also, I might add, after going out of my way to learn a bit about the craft. And writing and publishing another entire series, that also needs a rewrite, though less badly in some ways...

The interesting thing will be the end result. It may not sell anywhere near as well as the original, it may outsell it ridiculously. I know which I'm hoping for.

It doesn't matter, in the end. I create. It's what I do. I'm a Creator. So are you, reading this, almost certainly. If not, welcome! Hi! My name's Dave, what's yours? What brings you here, if not the act of Creation?

In any event, as a Creator, I create. Consumers then consume what people create. If they consume my content, then that is awesome, amazing and otherwise wonderful. If not? Well, I'm not going to be all bitter and upset. I'll just keep on creating either way. I have to. If I don't, strange and weird things start happening to my mind... I MUST pour it out into writing. I have no choice.


About the Creator

Dave Rowlands

Author and Creator of Anno Zombus, but don't let that worry you; I write more than just zombie stories.

Discover more about Baby's parents role during the Auspocalypse at amazon.com and come and join us at the Anno Zombus facebook group.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (21)

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  • Kelsey Clarey2 months ago

    Congrats on the runner-up! Learning the importance of editing is definitely a game changer lol

  • Dana Hambleton2 months ago

    Congratulations on the runner-up! You deserve it 🥳

  • Trip L.3 months ago

    Hi Dave, I enjoyed reading this and felt a great sense of relation to just feverishly writing. It has to get out one way or another and turns out some people actually enjoy reading the crap these fingers push out. This was inspiring to continue on with my own work I am over analyzing. Congratulations on top story of course :)

  • krisaleen3 months ago

    Hi! I have recently started posting my articles here and would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. It would mean a lot to me if you could take a few moments to read and share your thoughts. Please subscribed <3

  • Babs Iverson3 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!!

  • Jenia Silver3 months ago

    I enjoyed reading this piece. I can relate, I am not sure my writing finds much of an audience. I enjoy the craft of trying to project those observable public areas, in my short articles. Fiction is my hardest genre to write for. Science Fiction is one of my favorite type of movies to watch. I like both Superhero and Apocalyptical movie. Most of the movies get adapted from a writer who starts off with a simple theme. Keep writing to find what you do best!

  • Marie Wilson3 months ago

    Thanks for sharing! Love the clear-minded coherence of this piece. Congrats on TS. And also: Hi. My name is Marie.

  • Wow 😯 that was Interesting 🧐 to Read 📝💯🫶🏾Thanks for sharing and Congratulations 🎊 on Your Top Story‼️

  • Mattie :)3 months ago

    I got my first big fantasy idea around 14. I'm now 28( turn 29 in 21 days). Writing creative fiction can be daunting, yet it has taught me a lot about life and myself. Great post, Dave. Thankful to meet and connect with other wordsmiths :)

  • Celia in Underland3 months ago

    Really enjoyed reading about your journey with your novel. Entertaining and humourous :) Good luck with your latest version and congrats on Top story!

  • Anni Antoni3 months ago

    An entertaining account of the writer's journey and a fun read.

  • Rachel Deeming3 months ago

    Excellent read. Yep, I have to let them pour out too although not into a novel...yet? Maybe. 17! Good on you. It might not have been the best but it got the ball rolling and now here you are, balancing on top of it like a circus performer! Congrats on a richly deserved TS and let me know when that book gets published as I would like to check it out.

  • Ronald 3 months ago

    Great story. Keep the good work going

  • Mohammed Darasi3 months ago

    That is a great story about your journey. One of the best books I read were self-published by the author. I remember reading it on his website and then I started seeing it on Amazon and bought it. I'm sure it's a great feeling to think through a story and then end up publishing it! I hope to do that someday. I also love that call to arms you gave in the end for all creators!

  • L.C. Schäfer3 months ago

    All very relatable except I've never published anything. I think I constantly tell myself I'm not good enough, but I know that's horse shit. Badly written twilight fan fiction got published 🤣

  • Jaslynn3 months ago

    Love it!

  • MPO88993 months ago

    i like ur story

  • 👌✨👌✨👌✨👌 yes yes yes!!!! A much needed sentiment shared!!! Creators create, consumers consume! And when these cross our way… brilliant…. And if we end up becoming another Van Gogh? Brilliant. And if not? Did we live a life of enjoyment doing what we LOVE?!?! Yes?! BRILLIANT! ❤️✨🙏👌❤️✨🙏

  • its mesmerizing

  • ema3 months ago

    I like your attitude: we have to create, we have no choice!

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