A Letter To My Novel

Dearest Novel,

You owe me so much.

You do realize that you would not exist in theory or in reality if it weren’t for me? You do realize that only my many hours of labor have resulted in your existence? You do realize that I am currently editing you, ever improving your content, all for your own benefit?

I hope so.

It’s not as if you’ve given me an awful lot in return. I’ve put up with your insolent, audacious antics for two years now. Two years. I dried out at least seven good pens and used up four notebooks in your creation. I labored at my laptop to make you better. You deceived me. I thought you were so much better than before–I thought you were worthy of seeing the light. You’re a sneaky little thing, Novel. It’s my fault, too. I let my unconditional love for you cloud my judgement. I showed you off proudly in your imperfect form, thinking you a creation worthy of recognition. I learned my lesson.

I got you back from the hands of the outsiders, the infamous creatures called Beta Readers. Their pen marks on your skin hurt me, too. I was ashamed. I was angry. I thought them ignorant, over-critical, only out to get to me through you. You’re better than they say, I thought, reassuring myself. I started reading you to show myself that I was right.

I was wrong. The outsiders were right.

The marks on your visage increased–doubled, tripled–as I took my own pen to you. I started out logical, reserved. Then I got vengeful. I slashed out passages, circled phrases with wild abandoned, and scribbled over sentences I disliked as though blacking them out would remove them from the past as well as the present. I nearly shed a tear. I wanted to punch something. There you were, my life’s work, in tatters at my feet.

I’m sorry. I tried my best.

I’m still working on you. I haven’t given up, I promise. It’s hard for both of us, but it can only make us better. And even if you’re never published for all the world to see, even if you just remain a manuscript on my computer, you taught me a lot. So I guess I do owe you after all.

Thanks.

–Allegra

 

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2 responses to “A Letter To My Novel

  1. M. Saint-Germain

    I loved this! Well said. It’s brutal work–writing a novel, isn’t it? The last paragraph made me smile and it’s so true! No one can take away the knowledge we learned through writing that novel, can they? “And even if you’re never published for all the world to see, even if you just remain a manuscript on my computer, you taught me a lot. So I guess I do owe you after all.”

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