Saturday, January 3, 2009

Writing Update

Last time I updated you on my writing, I said I was working on editing Airborne and writing Kim and Sydney. Presently, Airborne is at a stand-still as I am waiting to hear back from my informant in Ecuador. In Kim and Sydney, Kim has finally reached adulthood; and I have finished the chapter about her brother's wedding, and she is about to be asked by her uncle to come to California to help her aunt, who is expecting twins. I haven't been working as diligently as I should on this, but it is coming along slowly.

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.

John stared blank a moment, then said, “Cool down, Mark. God will take care of us.”

“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. :-)


Pure Little Ladies Ministry said...

Alright, I give you my permission (as a fellow author who loves revising her own stuff!) to revise MD....AS LONG, on ONE CONDITION....that you let me read every single book you revise. ^_^ lol Pleeeeeese?? =P

Lotsa Love,
Miss Toria

Melanie said...

P.S. I just realized that I said in my article that in my last writing update I said I was working on "Kim and Sydney" (that was wordy!); actually I said in that article that I was working on my 17th century England book. I actually haven't picked that up for quite a while! :-S Sometime I will post more about "Kim and Sydney" and what it is all about.

Melanie said...

Hee hee... your comment made me giggle, Toria! :-) Sure, I will let you read all the books I revise. ;-) I really won't change much in MD, except Dreia wouldn't be a marquis' daughter, so the title would have to change.... and there would be some Americanized stuff. But the characters and events of the story would be pretty nearly the same. :-)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes to revise and re-revise her books! ;-)

steph12 said...

Cool, Melanie! Can you let me read your books too??Plllleeasse?????? Those books you're writing sound awesome!:-)

Melanie said...

Sure, Steph! That would be great!

juli said...

Sounds good so far Melanie! Anything with pirates HAS to be exciting!
Cool cover!!!!

Teddy said...

I don't have time to read your post just this minute deary, but trully I am methinks thoroughly flattered at thy mentioning me on thy profile!

Pure Little Ladies Ministry said...

Hahaha, well that's what fellow authors are for: giggles! =P lol

WHAT?! Dreia not be the marquis' daughter?! Eeeeeekk!! Are you REALLY sure about that?? =S I know I'm not too sure....but then it isn't my book! =P lol Anyhow, what's the last chapter you read of Prairie Princess of the West?

Oh, and I'm thinking of totally changing the plot of that story, too. lol

Speaking of books, tell Bethany (I don't have time to go over to her blog at the moment, dishes are calling me!!) that the last chapter I think I read of HGHL was the guys were in that hotel room and they gagged someone and tied 'em to a chair. -_^ Not sure what chapter that was, but that's the last thing I read...speaking of which, Ky was just wondering when she was going to write more, he really loves that book!!

Miss Toria

Pure Little Ladies Ministry said...

Aw man I forgot to re-read the comment I just did, so sorry if there's spelling errors!! lol

Melanie said...


About Dreia not being a marquis' daughter, she couldn't be if she was in America, cuz there's no such thing as marquis in America... so, she might be the daughter of a general, admiral, or corporal, or something, from the Revolutionary War, who owns a large plantation in Virginia (so she'd still be rich.) I still haven't decided yet.

The last part I read of Prairie Princess was right after Austin left and there was a new sheriff. I am eager to read more if you have added to it! :-D

Beth hasn't worked on her book for a while, but she read your comment, so maybe she'll pick it back up again. :-)

Anderson Family said...

hey, Toria, I edited abit of my HGHL tonight, so I haven't forgotten all about it1!!;D Was the last chapter I sent you chapter 8? Have I not sent chapter 9 yet? Haha, I'm glad Ky likes the book...I'm not quite sure if I like it very much!!:P I mean, I like the story line, but I need to do more study on it, and I don't exactly feel like doing that at the present you know what I mean?? I WILL try to write more of it soon, though!:D (I'll try to get into the mood for it!!Hehehe^_^ lol) Glad you guys like it!:D

your friend,

Pure Little Ladies Ministry said...

Melanie- Sounds like the last chapter you read was the 4th...I'm almost done with the 5th, so I'll send it whenever it's finish (can't promise that it'll be soon though! lol) Oooh...hahah *slaps forhead* what a goose I am! DUH, Toria!! I totally missed out the part that you were changing it to an AMERICAN Big piece of the puzzel! =P

Bethy- Yeah I think I last read the 8 or 9th chapter. Ky will be happy to know that you're back at it!! =P I know how you feel about it though...I sorta gave up my military book because I didn't feel like doing all the research! lol

Melanie said...


Ana said...

How fun, how fun, how fun!!! I love writing. I've only finished three stories/books. But I love the scenes, the pictures, the plots, the planning, I just love writing. I had a break from writing for a long time, mostly just from lack of inspiration, but in the last few weeks it's been coming back and I've continued writing on one of my more recent books.

Keep writing, and let us know how it all goes for you!

Melanie said...

I didn't know you liked to write books! That is really neat!! :-D Sometime I would love to hear more about them!
I send "The Marquis' Daughter" to your sister Leah so you can read it if you wish. ;-)

Pure Little Ladies Ministry said...

You know what we should have? A writers conference or something!


Melanie said...

Yeah, really! :-P

Teddy said...

Ooooo! I'd totally be in on that!!!!