As instructed as part of Weronika’s Page-A-Day Challenge, I’m setting up one post to track my progress.
My “victim” for this challenge is an old manuscript I’m resurrecting. If you don’t already know, I’ve got three novels written.
My first, “After Happily Ever,” was finished back in the mid-1990s and is a retelling of Cinderella, but one which gives the stepmother and stepsisters a fair break and then goes on to tell what happens after the prince finds the girl. It was finished, it is finished, but I recently chopped 30,000 words out of it to make it better, stronger, faster, so … still finished, but much improved.
The second … well more about that in a moment.
The third is “After Titanic” which tells about a young woman who lost her husband on the Titanic on their way back from their honeymoon, and has brought back an orphan with her. He was handed to her as her lifeboat was lowered, and she felt obliged to look after him. Little does she know, though, that the child is enormously wealthy, which brings up all sorts of interesting problems for her as she tries to deal with her grief and restart her life in the midst of gossipy neighbors, a distraught mother-in-law, and nosy reporters poking around, looking for a good story. This one stood unfinished for years while I tried to figure out the legal ramifications of her trying to adopt a rich orphan, on her own, in 1912 when women still couldn’t even vote. But, as of a month or so ago, it is done now, too.
The thing is … my second novel got bumped to the wayside by the Titanic story, and so it has languished even longer, even though it’s about halfway done. 48,000 words, in fact, with a rough outline as to what has to happen in the second half. Not only that, it’s a sort-of sequel to the first book. Not a direct sequel, but one that follows the great-great-great-whatever granddaughter of the couple in my Cinderella story, here in modern day New York. (Or, kind of modern day New York. Judging by the dates I put on each chapter, I started writing this in 1997, and the occasional anachronism regarding cell phones or internet access is kind of amusing. But I’m digressing.)
The thing is, rereading what I’ve got, I’m still pretty intrigued by this story. I like Cynthia and John, the main characters, and I’m tickled by the side-story I squeezed in based on Sleeping Beauty. (Hey, don’t mock the fairy tales.They’re classics for a reason. The originals are far more fascinating than the Disney versions, too.)
For this page-a-day challenge, I’m going to work on finishing this poor book, stuck in limbo for over a decade. I’m a pretty monogamous writer, in that I like to focus on one thing at a time, if I can, and it’s irked me for years that this incomplete novel has been sitting in my “works in progress” folder. For my own peace of mind, I need to at least get the first draft done.
The beginning: 179 pages, 48,358 words.