I have good news, and even better news.
This weekend, I finished the first draft of Her Grace’s Stable. Woot, Snoopy dance! I love finishing new material!
Immediately the next morning, I woke up with an idea for a scene I’d left out. Oops. So I worked on that in between laundry. That scene led to another new scene that I’d hinted at in the beginning but skipped. Yeah, I’m a coward sometimes. I made myself go back and write that scene in excruciating detail.
Then I made a revision pass to smooth everything and figure out where these new scenes went. I answered all my [notes to myself] and [go back and do xyz]. I put in chapter breaks.
I had to research British Army regiments, officer positions, various battles and place names in the Penisular War, and looked up countless details about the Duke of Wellington’s life to see how far I could break the rules and how much actually made sense. Thanks to Lady Blackmyre, I also now know what a puissance wall is.
She’s sitting at 40,700+ and I can’t think of a single new scene that I need to add. Yet. That’s the down side of writing in the zone. I tend to get blinders in my mad rush to hit the end, and I don’t always realize that things are missing until later. If she holds up another day or two without needing any new words, then I think she’ll be ready for the first readers to take a look.
This book has me nervous on so many counts. It broke so many of my personal taboos that it’s not even funny. But how else am I to grow as a writer–and a person–if I don’t try new things and explore where no lady has gone before? In the end, I adore how it came out. I love this world. Lady Blackmyre whipped my back bloody and I still love her too. Part of me wishes I could have written this book in this world without the pony play — which is going to be a hard pill for many to swallow. But she would have none of that.
This is the way Lady Blackmyre required her book to be written.
My favorite passage from Her Grace’s Stable, her personal message to me.
“You need to stop worrying so much about what’s right or wrong and simply concentrate on what you feel in your heart. I don’t care what Britannian Society will think about me running my men around the ring like the ponies they are. I don’t care if Queen Majel would faint dead away at the thought of my big brute of a stallion taking me when he’s wearing a tail. I couldn’t care less about what anyone says or thinks about the Black Duchess, as long as you and Cole are happy and satisfied. My question to you, Arthur, is do you trust me? Honestly, pet. You have to be willing to put yourself completely into my care.”