Monday, June 9, 2008
This morning over on The Write Soul blog, Chiron O'Keefe writes about taking risks verses putting on the breaks. She asks at the end to see our goals as writers for the week...I replied a bit of the following. I added this to my book journal and added to it for this post.
Chiron's post prompted me to go to the journal I began when I started working a novel. I was shocked to see I wrote a rough chapter 1 in the autumn of 2002, under the title, Sacrifice. I put the whole thing aside while working on the edits and publication of two other historical novels. I picked it up again in the fall of 2004, and retitled it Surrender the Wind. I completed a rough draft by December 2005, a little over a year later.
I worked on a submissions package and started querying agents in January 06 after polishing the manuscript. After an agent suggested I bring the word count down and introduce the heroine earlier, I worked on a rewrite. Looking at my journal today, caused my self confidence to plunge. I've read about writers completing books in a matter of months, some a year. What's up with me taking so long? If I worked steady on it, it most likely would have taken a year. Still!
My goal this week is to finish revisions. I think this time is the last. What I've realized on a positive note is good writing cannot be rushed. And while Surrender the Wind was being submitted, I began another historical novel, Between Two Rivers. I'd like to share with you the opening paragraphs to Surrender the Wind from the prologue and then Chapter 1.
The Wilds of Virginia
On a cool autumn twilight, Seth Braxton rode his horse through a grove of dark-green hemlocks in a primeval Virginia forest distressed he might not make it to Yorktown in time.
The Changing of the Will
Devonshire, England 1784
The first thing Juleah Fallows saw when she stepped out of the carriage was a full moon rising above a dark, spear-like chimney belonging to Ten Width. She then glanced at the candle set against the blackness of the ivy-covered walls, glowing inside the window of Benjamin Braxton's bedchamber. A chill swept through her---from the wind, from a sense of what she might find beyond the frosted glass.
Posted by Rita Gerlach at 10:18 AM