It took me two years to write the rough draft of my first novel. Two long excruciating years. I doubted myself at every phase. I hated the way I opened the book. It was too clumsy and awkward. I was embarrassed about the middle. It was convoluted and wandered down too many dead ends. I cringed when I wrote the ending. It was completely cliché and way, way too obvious.
how to write your first novel
Years ago, in my first writing group, I met a writer who told me he was hunting his voice. I instantly pictured him stalking through a jungle of stories and characters, holding a rifle and wearing fatigues. When I told him this, he laughed and said that he meant “hunting” in a different way. He was talking about hunting like a phone system picks up calls and directs them to the correct lines. If the first line is busy, the hunting feature automatically delivers the call to a second line, and then possibly a third and so on, until someone answers that call.