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At least, that what I originally imagined as I feverishly typed the opening words of my manuscript.
I had just received a call from my parents, who were on a business trip in London.
While touring the city, they heard about an amateur novel writing contest open to all ages, and thought that I, as an amateur writer, would be interested.
All I had to do was compose an original manuscript of merely 80,000 words and submit it to an office in London, and I could win $20,000 in addition to a publishing deal.
As my palate matured, I delved into a more aggressive assortment of spicy fare.
I’m not referring to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the crunchy snack devoured by dilettantes.
For months afterward the sight of me was accompanied by the tap, tap, tap of my fingers flying across the keyboard, and the sharp glint of obsession in my eyes. She handed me my magnum opus when I got home from school that day.
I ran my fingers across the shiny laminate over the cover page, caressed the paper as if it were some sacred tome. ” I said, imagining the line of publishing companies that would soon be knocking down my door.
What sort of writer was I, that my work warranted such substantial alteration? Today, six years, 10 drafts, and 450 pages later, I am finally close to finishing.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling insecure about my ability as a novelist I open up my first draft again, turn to a random chapter, and read it aloud.