So I am not quite, but very close, to having written as far as I ever have in A Gift of Grace. In other words, I’ve gotten past where I left off in the first version, almost to where I left off in the second version, and past where I left off in the third version. I’m calling that good news. Except I keep thinking I should be done and then discovering that I’m nowhere close.
I suspect that the editing of this one is going to be more challenging than I want it to be, too, because after so many versions, I don’t always remember what’s still in and what’s out. I am definitely going to need good beta readers who are willing to call me out on my screw-ups. That there are screw-ups is basically guaranteed.
And that said… I told my dad on Friday that I was pretty sure Grace is the best thing I’ve ever written. Obviously, I’m not done yet, so I could still screw it up. Equally obviously, my opinion isn’t really worth all that much. I know these characters really well now. Whether a reader who hasn’t lived through all the versions will feel like she or he knows them equally well is still totally up in the air. I won’t know that for a while. I might not ever know that if it turns out to be like The Wedding Guests in terms of getting very few reviews. It might be a total mystery to me forever. But that’s okay. Sort of.
I did realize that one of my ongoing problems, apart from the truly crazy over-abundance of characters, has been time and the passing thereof. I wanted this book to be like Ghosts in terms of taking place over months and having a romance that was a slow and plausible real build. People don’t fall in love in two days. They fall in infatuation and love is what happens over the course of time. Akira and Zane have, to me, real love. They met, were attracted, flirted, started bonding, slept together, kept bonding, spent a lot of time together, enjoyed one another’s company, liked one another for their differences, faced danger together, and live happily ever after. Grace and Noah might end this book at closer to attracted, flirted, started bonding… because 45,000 words into it, Noah has spent a single night in Tassamara. In book time, he met Grace yesterday. That is not love. We might be closer to a Happy For Now ending than a Happy Ever After ending. (And that said, I suspect that this is a problem of all romantic suspense. I’ve not really started examining timelines for my favorite books, but I suspect that ten days from first meeting to together & in love is pretty typical for novels, even if it is a terrible idea for real life.)
But I’m not letting that realization bother me. This book is very definitely not what I thought it was going to be, not what I wanted it to be. It doesn’t match the outline that I wrote for it (in 2013!) at all, with the sole exception of having a hero who hears ghosts and thinks he’s crazy. I’m not even sure that the title works anymore. But all of that is okay, too. Onward!
Barbara Gavin said:
I am looking forward to reading your next, hopefully almost final, iteration.
I am looking forward to having you read it! I really am getting close, I think. In real terms, I probably have another 20,000 words at minimum, which is not so close, but I do think I know where I’m going now, so they shouldn’t be nearly as hard as the first 20,000 words.
Tim Nutting said:
Time! What a wonderful thing. What you mention here about time compression is exactly my problem with many movies, but most especially the Marvel comic book movies. I love them all, but if you just take Thor for instance, supposedly a near-immortal being forms a life long bond and comes to terms with centuries of narcissism and childish irresponsibility in, what, five days?
I am looking forward to new material on Grace, very much so. Please keep it coming 🙂
Ha, I had that problem with Thor, too. It did not work for me!
Judy Judy Judy said:
I am okay with happy for now. I am also ok with suspending reality to allow people to fall in love too quickly in romantic fiction. I am confident either way you go will work.
Glad you are so far along and liking it.
Great way to put it, Judy! And maybe I’ll just remind myself of that as I keep writing. It’s okay if my romantic fairy tale characters fall in love very quickly!
So happy to hear you are working, (almost done?) on another Tassamara story. I have been watching for a new one for along time. I love your writing, you really are very good. Great story line, you bring your characters to life, and I miss them when they’re gone. Please finish soon.
Thank you so much, Norma! I’m really glad you enjoyed them and glad you’re looking forward to more!
Patiently waiting for Grace.
What Norma said was spot on. You bring your characters to life, and I miss them when they’re gone.
I miss Akira! I had every intention of having her be a major player in this book, but that was when it took place over months. Now… we’ll be lucky if she shows up in time for the climax. Ah, well, I still have her honeymoon short story started, maybe I’ll go back and finish that one after I’m done with Grace.
So glad to know you’re still working on Grace. As others noted, I too love your characters and would enjoy seeing them come to life in a t.v. series!