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 sugges
ted 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 Sur
render 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 fo
rest distressed he might not make it to Yorktown in time.

Chapter 1
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.


Chiron O'Keefe said...

I read that "Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norell" took ten years to complete. *smile*

It's true some writers can whip out an astonishing number of books. Noted author, Allison Brennan mentioned in one post that she can log up to forty page a day.


Not everyone can write that quickly. To me the story comes in ragged bits, torn from my soul a page at a time. I yearn for the kind of info dump that truly quick writers seem to possess but my brain doesn't seem wired that way. Yet.

The more we write, the quicker we will get.

What you are doing is exactly Write... er... RIGHT! *smile*

Happy editing with your revisions. I'll hold that vision in my heart, of the Perfect Agent giving you the Push AND opening the doors to new opportunities...

Smiles to you,

CHickey said...

I can manage three category size books in a year. My goal is to reach two full-lengths a year, but I have yet to sell anything but a category. Categorie are fun to write and fast.

Catherine West said...

Thanks for stopping by Writers' Rest!
Would you like to exchange links?

Margo Carmichael said...

I just read that Katherine Anne Porter took thirty years to write _Ship of Fools_. She wrote many other things, but her one and only novel became a feature film in the late 'sixties. That would work for me. And at the rate I'm going, with life sooo getting in the way...I just figure the Lord knows exactly whom He gave this story to....

kate tremayne said...

I love your blog. I've been writing one Loveday book in the historical Loveday family series a year for ten years. Such a series was always my dream but I had sketched out only a few hazy ideas several years prior to starting the series. In the meatime I did publish 17 other novels. And eventually the biggest writing dream came true.
Kate Tremayne