My first novel! Alas! for that first story of mine--the raven I sent out of my ark and never see again! Unlike the proverbial curse, it did not come home to roost, it stayed where I had sent it. The only thing I ever heard of it again was a polite letter from the editor in whose office it lay, telling me I could have it back if I enclosed stamps for the amount of twopence halfpenny, otherwise he should feel it his unpleasant duty to "consign it to the waste-paper basket."
I was only sixteen then, and it is a very long time ago; but I have always hated the words "waste-paper" ever since. I don't remember that I was either angry or indignant, but I do remember that I was both sad and sorry. At all events, I never sent that two-pence half-penny, so I conclude my first MS. went to light the fire of that heartless editor. So much comfort I may have bestowed on him, but he left me comfortless; and yet who can say what good he may not have done me? Paths made too smooth leave the feet unprepared for rougher roads. To step always in the primrose ways is death to the higher de
This is basically two essays published in the Ladies' Home Journal in 1890, and the same thing as "How I Write My Novels" by the same lady, with tons of Gutenberg spam.
Don't expect a "cookery" book on writing a novel. These are two essays that have more in common with the kind of essays you were made to write about yourself in primary school. Not very informative and too personal to be of any value.