I finally finished my first round of edits. My BFF/writing friend noted at the end of the manuscript that she didn’t want it to end there. Partly because she liked the story and wanted to know more…and partly because it seemed unfinished to end it at the point where I chose to stop writing.
But my problem with continuing on was that the next part of her life would take just as much research as I put into the first part and, quite honestly, I don’t have it in me right now. To do justice to the second part of my character’s life will require I dive headlong into the Underground Railroad and the Abolitionists movement in the north. If I continue on at the rate that the original manuscript took to create, I’ll be 60 before I finish the rest. (For reference purposes only, I turn 50 in April.) Now, please forget I said that…in fact, because I started counting backwards about a decade ago, I’m really only 29. So, let’s go with that.
Anyhow, as a compromise, I wrote an Epilogue. I’m pretty proud of it, honestly, and it will be a great outline to follow if I do get to the point where I circle back to write the rest of this character’s story.
The next step, near as I can figure, is a beta reader. I’m in a little bit of a writer’s group black hole here in Charleston and I really want the book to have one more read through by someone outside of my circle. With a lack of local writing groups here, I have spread my search to the internet, and signed up at www.betareader.io. I’ve uploaded my book in the hopes of getting readers interested in taking a look and telling me what they think. We’ll see what happens. I’m not sure how long to give it before I decide it did/didn’t work. I suppose if I even get one person to read it and give me some insight, I can say it worked. But how long do I wait if no one reads it before I move on to Beta Reader, Plan B?
While that manuscript percolates, I’ll be getting started on…you guessed it…THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL!
Hint: I’ve always been interested in the Salem Witch Trials. I’m not sure if I want to write a historical fiction story about the trials or if I want to do a more modern-day tale. I think my first step will be some free writing to try to get my head wrapped around what the story line should be. Wish me luck!
Final Word Count: 48,902