Thursday, November 22, 2007

So Let It Be Written

So let it be done!

It's taken three years and seven months, but at last (at last!) it is finished. The first draft of my historical novel, KINDRED (working title), begun in April 2004, sits cooling its heels on my hard drive (and my jump drive, and various piles of hard copy backup), waiting for me to catch my breath, gather my wits, and come back at it with a bright red editing vengeance. All 284,000 words of it.

KINDRED isn't my first novel. That was written fifteen years ago. So was a second sometime later, followed by a good-sized chunk of a third, and well over half of a fourth. KINDRED is a considerable milestone in my writing journey, however, a reason for celebration and the giving of heart-felt thanks. So on this Thanksgiving Day, 2007, I say thank you to my Father in heaven for a finished manuscript, and for the journey He's taken me on to reach this goal. He has been faithful, even when my faith faltered.

And to my friends and family who believed I could still do this and who encouraged me, prayed for me, listened to my whining, cheered me on, read scenes, gave feedback, shared their research and, in one special case, traveled hundreds of miles with me to visit a certain spot on the banks of the French Broad River... you all know who you are... thank you, with all my heart. And Brian, thank you for dwelling so graciously with the oddities and quirks of a wife whose head and heart are half the time stuck fast in the 18th Century.

As many of you know, there were seasons when I thought I'd never see this day. I'll talk about that in my next post.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17

May His light be yours this Thanksgiving, and every blessing!


  1. Lori ~

    Congratulations on reaching this significant milestone! What an accomplishment to have taken your story and put (all 284,000 words of it) to paper. *s* The back cover copy sounds quite intriguing, and I look forward to the day I can read it in its entirety. In the meantime, I hope you'll be generous with the excerpts. *g*

    I must tell you, I had to smile in recognition at your reference to "the oddities and quirks of a wife whose head and heart are half the time stuck fast in the 18th Century." I'm afraid my husband faces the same situation.

    I hope you and your family had a blessed Thanksgiving.

  2. Sallie,

    Brian and I had a lovely Thanksgiving, thank you! Hope you did as well.

    And thanks so much for your note of encouragement. Yep, I'll post some excerpts as I go through the editing process, doing my best to refrain from any major spoilers. *s*

  3. Lori,

    I'm so excited to see your blog up and running! What a beautiful job you've done designing it, and what a beautiful story you are writing. I agree with Sallie--can't wait to read it from beginning to end!

  4. Joan,

    Great to see you here! Thanks for stopping by. I'll do my best to edit this sprawling epic down to something manageable.

    Glad you like the lay out. The visual artist in me hasn't come out to play in a while, so I admit I've gotten a little carried away playing around with the design.

  5. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Dear Lori,

    I would have gladly gone a thousand.

    "They'd many a mile to go that night before they reached the town-o, town-o, town-ohhh...." Sorry. But I think you should put it in the scrapbook somewhere. ;-)

  6. Doree,

    Another good idea. See, I'd never think of all this.

    And actually, I think you DID go a thousand. We really should have kept track!

  7. Lori,

    Congratulations! [delighted grin]

    I love the blurb. I hope you'll use that for your query letter. Just one thing -- I have the feeling that at least some agents are going to want to know what sort of scandal Ian is fleeing and how it relates to the rest of the story. I love the phrase "Leaving Boston under a cloud of scandal..." and would hate to see it clogged up with explanations at that point...but OTOH, seems like that scandal could be touched on again later in the blurb. Unless the events in Boston don't impinge on the rest of the story, in which case, you might think about leaving that out altogether. It's very intriguing and yet never mentioned again.

    Just a thought anyway.

  8. Hi Beth,

    Well, this is more like back cover teaser stuff. I didn't want to post a true synopsis here (giving away the ending). But the events in Boston do come back to haunt Ian all throughout the book (the next two books after this one, too, or so it appears at present *s*), so when I come to writing the true synopsis, that will be better explained.

    I'm glad you mentioned it, though. You know how it goes. Since the story is so well-paved in our heads, we sometimes don't see the potholes we leave the reader to trip over on the page. Thanks for lending an objective eye. *s*

  9. Lori,

    this is more like back cover teaser stuff.

    Yes--and that's exactly what goes in the query letter. The synopsis is a different animal, and you won't be sending one of those unless asked. But in the initial query letter, you include something much like what you've written, to get the agent interested in reading more.

  10. Beth,

    True! Which makes me realize I've blocked all thoughts of query letters out of my mind, at present. *s*

    The synopsis will be challenge enough, to start with. After the edit. Which I begin today. Deep breath.

    But it's nice to have this to begin with, when the time comes. Thanks for commenting on it. I'll either find a way to tie that former scandal back in more strongly with the last phrase, "sacrificing irrevocably his repute among his kin," or else state it in such a way that doesn't leave an editor/agent wondering.