Monday, February 22, 2010

What Have I Done?

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?


  1. I'm one of the faceless E/D lovers out there reading your novel (well, I have a face. You just can't see it...) I commented over at DWG on the first three chapters, and wanted to re-iterate how much I'm enjoying this so far!!

    I do have one question, (don't worry, you won't lose me as a reader, I'm hooked!): Elizabeth seems to have gotten over their fight at the Netherfield Ball rather quickly, considering the kind of accusations Wickham had her believing... Which is why I was surprised that she decided to run to London because she was worried about being too attracted to Darcy, rather than because she thought all Wickham's stories were true and didn't want to spoil Jane's courtship by being rude to Darcy. I guess I am just unclear on how she moved from totally believing Wickham to thinking there was something wrong with him without Darcy's Hunsford explanation.

    But this just means I get to go re-read and try to figure it out. I am *very* much enjoying this, and can't wait to read more!! (and THANK YOU for making Mrs. Gardiner the right age/prettiness)

  2. Shucks, if you don't feel nervous about posting to a group of knowledgable - and VERY opinionated - people, you have ice in your veins. Most of the comments/emails/PM's will be kind and the few that are not can be read and put in your rear view mirror.

    Besides, you are new meat. Take that any way you want.

  3. Hey! I really like your blog. I discovered your story on AHA and I'm really loving it.
    First of all, make it your mantra that you can never make every single reader happy all the time.
    No one is immune to critic and I completely understand your desire to please, but you just have to remember that's an impossibility. Someone will always find something to critize but you just have to be confidant of your work's worth and don,t let it bring you down.
    So, just write what makes YOU happy, because if you write only with readers or potential readers in mind, you might just lose the joy of writing or your inner voice could get lost. I read in one of previous entries that you want to write JAFF story but with you coming out of that work as well (not à la Mary Sue of course :P), and I believe that's the best attitude.
    English isn't my first nor even my second language so I'm sorry if I'm not expressing myself well, but I've written previously in my mother tongue and I tell you from personal experience that nothing kills a muse as fast as the constant desire to please others when in the writing process.
    Writing is a personal journey and the result is a part of our self that we share with the world.

    The good part of a WIP (work in progress) and posting chapter by chapter in a community is that you get instant feedback on each of your chapters and great people who will cheer you on as you continue to write. The comments can even help you understand how your work is interpreted from others perspective. But the downside of the interactive community is the desire to please the readers by writing something that would make them happy, but not you. The trap that you shoudn't fall into is to never let the comments dictate the direction of your story. Most of the time it is done inconsciently and many experienced writers of JAFF who write WIP don't fall into the trap, but since you're a newbie, I thought you should be aware.

    Sorry for the long comment. I know it's easier said than done because we all want to please others. After all, human beings are social beings who see themeselve through the eyes of others, so the desire of approval is natural, just don't let it affect your writing and make your story become something that won't please YOU.
    I personally love your story and looking forward to each and every chapters that will follow. :)

  4. Thank you all for coming to my blog!

    Le, I'm very happy to hear that I'm a new piece of meat--I think. :0)

    K, Did you get to read the 1st 3 chapters? I thought I was pretty clear with Lizzy's thoughts on her burgeoning attraction to Darcy, and how people have been whispering about Wickham's fortune hunting and gambling. Never underestimate what a blow to the head, a sudden downpour, and sexual tension you can cut with a knife can do to change a girl's mind! :0)

    Mariam! I remember you! Thanks for the pep talk. I know I can't please everyone, but it's a nice thought. I can't wait to post Chapter 5--it's got a lot of fun in it...

    Thanks for hanging in there with me!

  5. I think that you could do with a beta reader to catch some of your slips of language - such as breech when you meant breach and revelry when the word you needed was reverie.

    Other than that, an enjoyable start to your story.

  6. Thanks for sticking with me Alison, it's all rough right now. I have a copy editor friend who will help me out when I'm finished. But everything is still changing and evolving. I'm posting to see if people are liking where I'm going and are buying my characters and plot. I will go back and change the two that you pointed out, though. I really appreciated it!