work in progress Wednesday

niagara falls Thought I’d disappeared, didn’t you? Well…almost. My computer time remains precious and more limited than in the past, so revising the novel is my #1 priority. I also took a few days vacation and attended a  conference – revising time suffered. But I wouldn’t trade that vacation or conference for anything.

Let me update you on WIP!

Title: Battle Scars: Men of the Cross

Current word count   81,347

Revisions:  I’ve revised chapters 1-5, about 12,800 words. I thought I’d be further along by now but I spent a good bit of time on chapter 1. You know what they say: gotta capture the reader on page #1.

Two beta readers, a professional editor and my writers group read or heard chapter 1.  Based on their comments, I tweaked the opening scene and read it at writers group again before I headed to Niagara Falls, NY. The verdict: tighter, better than 1st draft but… they disagreed on the main character’s (MC) reaction to a conflict. While on vacation, I revisited my vision of the MC’s motivation and labored over that scene. I made a few minor changes and dropped 1 line of dialogue. The MC’s reaction hasn’t exactly changed, but there is better continuity based on my knowledge that this conflict foreshadows a future event that shows his growth.

I twisted arms at a work-related conference I attended after my 4 day vacation. (It didn’t take much twisting.) Two of my friends had read Family Peace; 3 others owned it and planned to read it – 2 brought their copies for signatures! 🙂  When I asked if they wanted to hear chapter 1 of Battle Scars they were thrilled. Somehow, those 5 grew to about 12 people (in 2 separate readings). Talk about scary. It’s hard enough to read at writers group week after week, but sitting in front of a group of colleagues or friends and strangers is nerve-racking.

Oh God, I hope they like it. It’s so different from Family Peace. Different writing style, different genre… What if my writing group and betas are being too generous in their praise. What if I write crap and no one else likes Battle Scars?

The voices in your head go on and on.

Note to aspiring writers: ignore those voices, get feedback, and move on.
And remember: Perfection is the enemy of done.

Oh… their verdict: thumbs up. Good characters, good dialogue & good narrative that paints a picture of the times. They got my MC. (I think 1 disagreed with his reaction, but she doesn’t know what’s coming.) They were anxious to hear chapter 2. Hallelujah!

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I’m also working on the sequel, Battle Scars II: For the King, which is up to approximately 17,400 words, a very minor increase in the last 4 weeks. It will be slow-going until I get through the 1st round of revisions on book I. What I’d like to do is publish both books within 3-6 months of each other, sometime in 2014. Hang in there with me, okay! 🙂

~  ~  ~  ~

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