"Trunking" a Book
My first complete work of fiction is “a trunker”. Having gone three (and a half) rounds with the world’s best beta readers, innumerable hours eliminating excess words, adding character arcs and shopping for an agent, I have determined that this book, in its current form, will go no further.
I am in good company. Countless writers, urged by their muse to put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) experience rocky beginnings. In a presentation Steve Berry did for the University of Minnesota Libraries (March 4, 2014 - YouTube), he explained that his first novel – never published and referred to as “awful” – is the greatest thing he has ever done in writing, because he started it and he finished it. I couldn’t agree more.
My initial, effort taught me much about the characters I now love. I’ve learned specificity in genre, expecting to write cozy mysteries, but discovering a brain overflowing with notions more aligned to thrillers.
As I close the lid on the trunk beside my desk, I smile at my box filled with items too dear to discard. I find myself more motivated than ever to improve my craft. And maybe…someday…I’ll open that chest again.