Writers wiser than I advise that just before a new book comes out, one should get busy with the next. Supposedly this will keep the author’s mind off how readers are responding on Amazon. Or something.
So that’s what I began doing last weekend. Even though the Darcy book isn’t *quite* out, I launched a new work-in-progress story. I even made a mock cover and put up a page. Here’s hoping the writing of it won’t take, what, another two-and-a-half years?
There’s something invigorating about writing for a “live audience.” It’s not that I need encouraging comments, although feedback helps me see if I’m striking fire. It’s just that having to edit under pressure, knowing that my work will be read by many sets of eyes, helps me to focus on essentials and cut wordy drivel.
And the published book can be very different than what these first readers see. For instance, Darcy By Any Other Name’s ending is completely new, thanks in part to feedback. Ha, having to outwit the very smart membership at Beyond Austen is amazingly motivating. Yes, readers can’t help making plot guesses. And yes, at times I do rub my hands and cackle. And completely change the direction of the scene…
Alas, the fun pirate story is on the back burner…again. Captain O’Manly is threatening mayhem, but I have turned a deaf ear for now. That’s the thing about a good story. The idea won’t let go, and if it’s especially compelling, it becomes richer and better.
Sorry, Captain O’Manly, but I need to keep my hand in with Austen fans right now. But I know these gals, and they love their pirates–that is to say, the handsome, swashbuckling, fictional kind with good teeth and who don’t stink–almost as much as they love Mr. Darcy. Okay, almost.
Curious? I’ve included a description from the new book’s page. (You’ll find the page itself under “Working On It!” on the menu bar.) So, onward we go.
A new Pride and Prejudice spin-off is underway.
Talk about a madcap romantic romp!
We’re at Rosings Park with all your favorites:
Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, the Collinses,
and (of course) Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
And also that rotter, George Wickham,
as you’ve never seen him before.
Currently in production at Beyond Austen:
As Only A Woman Can.
Here’s the premise:
George Wickham’s elegant trunk is stolen from the steps of the coaching inn, or so he thinks. In its place is one belonging to Lady Georgia Snowdon. Hard on Wickham’s heels are creditors, nasty fellows who have chased him from Meryton, threatening Coldbath Fields Prison or worse.
While searching for items to pawn, Wickham examines Lady Georgia’s clothes. Why, this woman is downright mannish in girth and height! His own height, to be precise.
In twenty minutes there is a coach leaving for Kent. Will Wickham give the slip to his pursuers? By boarding the coach as only a woman can?
As for the sleepy parish of Hunsford–and one Elizabeth Bennet in particular–the arrival of a most unusual lady changes everything.
Come read over my shoulder as I work.
Beyond Austen is a forum for all readers, even teens, and membership is free.