Saturday, December 11, 2010
The History of My Writing (2).
I wrote my first novel when I was nineteen. I had been reading a lot of Ernest Hemingway during my first two years of college and my style of writing was similar to his--a lot of short sentences, a lot of dialogue--and was based on those college years. I still have the novel, but I've not looked at it in over thirty years. I'm almost afraid to. I did no more novel writing until after I graduated from college and, if memory serves me correctly, not until after I served two-years active duty in the navy. I spent the next two years working and completing my naval service as an active reservist. During those two years I wrote at least two or three novels. I still have them, but I've done nothing with them. I moved to Rhode Island for a year and wrote another novel, about WWII, and tried to get it published after completing the third draft. A literary agent looked at it and said the writing wasn't professional enough. That was my first rejection letter. Instead of polishing it, I wrote another novel as a knee-jerk reaction to being rejected. I had married and worked part-time and wrote part-time, but the need for money became overwhelming and I began working full-time. My writing from that point on, for the next thirty years, was sparse and varied. I did polish one of the novels, The Temple of Eden, which became the basis for much of the fiction I've written during the past ten years.