Wednesday, January 24, 2007
My Proposal was Accepted!
I posted that picture because I'll be reading it with my critique partner. My partner in London just loves Anne Tyler's descriptive prose, so we are going to study it...
But, anyway, in one of the groups I'm in, several of the writers have contributed their work to anthologies--and there is a new anthology coming out in the spring. The stories will be set in the regency period--centered around London, England, ..near the royal court...and it should be a romance...Well, I saw the royal court...and I just knew that was ME! So I started working on an idea, and of course added in Queen Victoria---who was just a little girl at the time. One thing led to another and I had about 5,000 words done. I read it over and thought...not bad. I sent it to my critique partner in England and she thought it was pretty good and sent it back to me with some comments.
I decided to do a proposal, on the spot, and just send it in. The publisher wanted about 20,000 words...so I thought out the story, wrote the proposal and sent it in by email. Unbelievably, the next day I got a response and it said, "Love the premise! Write the story and send it to me."
I knew I had about a month. I thought about the proposal...and the story line. My husband told me that he would take care of our son for the weekend -- and that I could concentrate on writing. That Friday night I closed myself up in my room with some candles...and left the window open a bit to feel the cool air. In a sense, the flickering of the candles, and the cold room transported me a place where I could see and feel what was happening more vividly. I wrote and wrote and kept checking the word count. I dreamt about the lovers---the palace...the carriage she rode in...Queen Victoria as a young child. It seemed so vivid. The next day I wrote and wrote...and by midnight I had about 14,000 words in total already! Again I went to bed dreaming about them. It was nice. That's the nice part of writing---when you are in their world!
The next day was Sunday, and I finished up about 9Pm with 22,000 words!! It was too much, so I had to cut. I cut a lot, and brought it to 19,500. But I was proud of myself with the output! It was fun. I typed like mad. Then I spent a couple of weeks polishing.
And so now I wait. I learned quite a bit, though! I had to cut and so I went thru it very systematically---and thought---do I really need this? Does it add to the story? I took out adjectives that weren't necessary---and cut anywhere I could. I re-phrased things to make them more interesting. I went thru and took out adverbs, cleaned things up, made sure the pace was good and added in some extra little spice between the two lovebirds.
I had a little help from some of my writing friends---what would I do without them!? Writer friends are just the best. Thanks P!! Thanks K!! And thanks Andrew and Matty for "letting me do it".
I'm working on a few things now. I'll be picking up the above book so we can study it. I'm expanding and working on some ideas for families that were close to Queen Victoria as a child. I'm studying regency and Victorian times. I'm critiquing what I call "Susanna" for my friend in England, and I'm helping someone else with some tidbits on the Romanov's---well, I have so many books, why not?
Things have been a little tough lately---and I have been sinking into dreamland more and more....just wanting to be back there...creating my own little world. It's necessary at times for me to escape. I also realize I work very well under pressure.
What was Princess Victoria's governess's name?
I'll tell you next time!