Today, however, I did something different. A penpal had asked me about my books, and I was telling her about a series I have been writing since I was seven or eight years old. As you can imagine, the books have undergone revision after revision, new characters added, old characters taken away or changed, new scenes included, new subplots built, new lessons emphasized, new editions written and rewritten-- utter transformation. (Even now, I am considering yet another revision which I'll tell about in a minute.) Until this morning, I had the first book rewritten-- The Marquis' Daughter-- and I had only two chapters left in the second book, The Pirates' Revenge. (Sound interesting?) I hadn't worked on it for ages, as I hadn't the inspiration, but today as I wrote that letter, I felt a sudden urge to return to the world of John Cray, Mark Sayers, Dreia Magness, Esther van Moorsch, and the evil pirate, Andrew Ewing (a.k.a. Darkie). So I got out my computer and instead of IMing, I typed away the last two chapters. Pictures flowed from my mind, through my fingers, onto the keys, and from thence to the screen: the newly-wedded couples, the final attack of the pirates, the cottage going up in flames, the arrest of the evil Patch, the escape of Darkie, the following joy of the two couples as their families grow... and then the suspense of the last sentence: "And as those shadows faded away, so dimmed any worries they might have had that Darkie might still be living, and, perchance, still plotting how he might further take revenge on his mortal enemy, Mark Sayers Jr., and his family." Ooooh! I love it! Another novel finished (this one 19 chapters)! I am all set to commence the next book. The only problem is...
I am considering revising the series. At this point, it takes place in Scotland, and the seas around it. Problem is, where do the pirates come from? Why are they harrassing anybody anyway? What's the point? So, I am thinking about moving everyone to the new nation America, in the late 1700's, during the struggles with the Barbary pirates. This would make it more realistic, more historical, and more likely to be accepted by a publisher and the reading world; also, it will land the third book right in the time before the War of 1812, when the English were impressing American sailors to aid them in their war against France-- which sets the stage for more adventure and more Darkie... *evil laugh*. Does anyone know of any good resources on the Barbary Pirates? :-D
So that's how the writing is going. Tell me what you think. I know the story sounds a little weird, but it's lots of fun to write, and often ends up being more humorous than I meant it to be. Especially Mark and John's conversations. Like in chapter 2 of The Pirates' Revenge, when Mark spots the pirate ship and runs to tell John.
“John, we—we think we’ve spotted the Imperial II in the distance. Opposite the storm.” Worry showed on Mark’s young face.
“But my mother! And my sister!”
“I said He’ll take care of us. He’s promised to.” John stood thoughtfully for a moment, then said, “Tell Miles that, if he has made totally certain of it’s being them, to turn the ship in the direction of the storm.”
“What? It looks like a pretty violent storm to me,” protested Mark.
“Obey my orders! Would you rather die sinking in a storm or being strangled by a pirate?” John said, eying Mark sternly.
“Sinking, for sure,” Mark replied quickly. “But, to be truthful, I’d rather neither.”
“Me too. Now, go on and do as I told you.”
Well, whether anything comes of it or not, it's enjoyable to daydream and write, and I look forward to writing that third book (potential title: Ewing's Return). And above all, I pray that God would receive the glory; that adventure would never swallow the Gospel message; that all the events in my characters' lives would be to (fictionally) draw them closer to God; and that it would aid the readers' lives as well.
Note: The picture is courtesty of Amanda Cooksey, my illustrator. She drew this picture of Dreia Magness for a cover for my book. :-)