Okay, so I posted my first three chapters last week on a couple of fan sites. No big deal. NOT! (I haven't said that out loud for years!!) I was not prepared for the amount of comments and emails that would accompany it. One of the sites has a running count of how many people were actually viewing my story, and while I slept the first night it shot up to over one thousand. (As of this morning, it is nearing two thousand.) It boggled my mind to actually picture one thousand random strangers from all over the world reading my little personal project. I suddenly felt exposed, self conscious, and now responsible to make all of them happy.
I heard from Sweden, Italy and France. I feel like a Good Will Ambassador, spreading the love of Elizabeth and Darcy for all to enjoy. Not really. But it truly gives me pause, and opens my eyes to just how big a community this is. And these people know P&P. I mean know know. They own Elizabeth and Darcy in their minds, just as I do. I could lose readers easily, if I do something they deem out of character, or take a turn they find unbelievable, unpalatable. I would like to say that I am doing this only for me, and do not care if I lose a reader or two, but I do care. I want this book to go all the way to being published if I possibly could, and the fans are my most important ally.
I had an "I really need my mommy moment," and called her when I felt the full force of it. She giggled with me about my knocking knees, but assured me that I was not in over my head. She loves me, she believes in me, and this is what she gets paid the big bucks for. Thanks Mom.
Promising two postings per week, I posted Chapter 4 just a while ago. I am also posting on a third site this afternoon and will upload all four since I don't want to have to remember who gets what chapters when.
So, now that I am over the shock, I am hoping that I can actually get some helpful feedback. I have been taking advantage of the forums, and already have some seasoned vets helping me with what to do with Wickham. This journey has just been kicked up a notch or two, and I'm excited and even more motivated. I will have to work hard to keep ahead of my posting schedule which is two chapters every week. I'm good for a few more weeks...
Thank you to everyone of my new friends, who are on this interesting little journey with me. Don't be afraid to help me along with little nudges. I'm terrified, but exhilarated at the same time. I couldn't ask for a better way to keep accountable.
Goodbye for now. And Miss Austen? Were you this scared?