Writing News/Request for Prayers


Some years ago, I was in a writing group with three other very talented writers. Together we hit upon the idea of writing a short novel for a new market of "dime books" in supermarket chains. The novels were to be less than 50,000 words in length and could be in any number of genres.

The four of us sat down and picked a favorite plot--The Count of Monte Cristo--to redo as Science Fiction. (Yes, yes, I know it had been done before--but we do well to recall Ecclesiates dictum, "There is nothing new under the sun.") We outlined the plot and then assigned each person a group of chapter to do, passing the manuscript around one to the next. Well, as it transpires, what we had to say could not be said within the constraints of 50,000. (Well, we should have gotten a clue from the length of the source, shouldn't we?) At any rate we continued to work on it.

After I moved away from Ohio, the group more or less dissolved. The novel lay dormant for a few months and then I took it out and substantially rewrote it after trying to interest the others in completing it. Only one other was interested. I rewrote the novel substantially. She did some touch-up stuff. And then years passed.

A few months ago, she wrote to ask for the odd straggler file she wouldn't seem to find and recently wrote to say that she has submission letter and other information ready to go. She's chosen a couple of publishers to start and if one doesn't take it, she'll send it to the next immediately.

I'm excited. I thought the work was worthwhile some years ago. I still think it is. I've always lacked the necessary stick-to-it-tiveness to force it through the long process of publication. But I can see doing this in tandem--contributing to it as it were.

So I ask your prayers that our novel is well and gently received, even if not accepted for publication. I pray that we all learn something from it and from this experience I have something to share with you all.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 27, 2005 6:55 PM.

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