Learn to love criticism. The natural inclination can be to avoid it all costs, but that’s like avoiding going to the dentist: feels good now, but you set yourself up for decay down the road.
An old friend and I simultaneously reached the same conclusion this weekend. What we’re both
working on are really gothic historical fiction novels, not historical fiction/supernatural/fantasy/grasp-at-any-comparable-you-can-find kind of books.
No one had to tell me how important the first page is. I got it already. I got it each time I picked up a book in a store, opened it up to the first page, read a paragraph and set it back on the shelf.
Something big happened a month ago.
At least, it was to me. I reached the end of a sentence. The sentence was the end of a chapter, and the chapter was the end of a first draft, and that was the first book I ever wrote. Getting there was no small feat. This was the culmination of five efforts of writing the dang thing. By this point, I had lived with the idea of the story in my head for nearly twelve years. It was kinda a big deal.
And also, kind of not.