IWSG August: Gathering dust or rolling stone?

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, when the…

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…founded by Alex J Cavanaugh, blog about their hopes, dreams and fears. If you want to join this merry band of writers Click here to add your name to the list…
The awesome co-hosts for this month are; Tamara Narayan, Tonja Drecker, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Lauren @ Pensuasion, Stephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders!

I almost missed this month. It’s the kid’s summer holidays and I have trouble remembering what day it is, let alone the date! We’re just back from a few days camping and I’m still congratulating myself on choosing to come back a day early and missing a downpour by minutes (hurray! No wet tent to dry out!)

But back to this month’s question; What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

Well, neither. When I first wrote it, in a creative writing class, it started out about ballroom dancing. I knew nothing about ballroom dancing but did a fair amount of research on the net about it. Then I had a moment of inspiration, realised that although I knew (a little more now than I had) about ballroom dancing, I knew quite a bit about karate (having practised it for several years – yeah, don’t mess guys ;)). Anyhow, writing about something I knew made it a much better story.

I submitted it for a competition. It got nowhere, I figured ‘ok, let’s move on’ and left it to gather dust.

A few years on I dug it out and took it to my writing group for comments. I had such a great reaction from them! They loved it, were howling with laughter in places and it generated a lot of discussion. I was still buzzing from this the next day and decided to tighten it up, remove the swearwords and send it round the women’s mags market.

No bites. It’s just not that sort of material. I read it out to another writing group recently and discovered that the removal of the swearwords had made it blander, or maybe it was a different audience. Either way, I didn’t get the same reaction.

So, I’ve rewritten it (again), merging the best of both versions and have sent it off to another competition. Its free to enter and I won’t hear anything for months, so I guess it’s back on the shelf for a while. If I don’t get any luck there I might just leave it and stick it in my own collection one day.

What about your first piece? Is it gathering dust or a rolling stone?

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12 Responses to IWSG August: Gathering dust or rolling stone?

  1. Good luck on the contest and finding a home for your story. Maybe it’s a piece that works well being read aloud. Could you do a video reading of it? Maybe we’re on to something new-ish, authors reading a collection of short stories.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  2. Diane Burton says:

    Good for you! Rewriting isn’t easy. I hope you find a place for your story. Best wishes.

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  3. Juneta says:

    That is very cool that you keep reworking it. Good luck in the new competition, Maybe 3rd times the charm? clinch yeah, but can be true.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

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  4. emaginette says:

    This just proves how subjective the writing world is. Good luck on the contest. πŸ™‚

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  5. My first piece may be gathering dust, but it got me going on my rolling stone novel (I love that terminology!). Technically the second novel is shelved too, but it led to signing with a literary agent and selling a different book.

    Here’s my August IWSG post on my first novel attempt (note I said ATTEMPT). YA Author Stephanie Scott IWSG August

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  6. That’s not on the shelf, that’s on submission. Here’s hoping for you. It would be amazing if you got a big fat YES.

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  7. Don’t give up on your first piece. The correct “home” is waiting for your story.
    Mary Aalgaard makes an interesting point…certain pieces have an audio appeal and are perhaps meant to be read aloud. Something to think about. πŸ™‚
    Happy IWSG Day, Angela!

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  8. fenster says:

    My first serious piece is my go to example for what not to write. It is not only bland, but overwritten and didactic. I thought of working on it again once, but it is such a dated story that It needs a full rewrite and I like my current stuff so much more. Good luck with the submission.

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  9. ahtdoucette says:

    Angela,
    An inspiring story! Good luck with the contest.
    Anne

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  10. My first “serious” piece of writing is on a flash drive somewhere and will never see the light of day. It’s got some great moments, but somewhere in the middle the story collapses. But the beginning is great, lol.

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