I have actually typed the last scene of The Empty Cup, working title for the sequel to Glastonbury Tor. I was elated. I could hardly feel the ground beneath my feet as I floated from my cozy office over the garage into the house to share the news with my husband.
“Let’s go for a walk!” I said, and fairly skipped down the street. He was hard pressed to keep up with me.
It wasn’t easy to sleep that night. I’m pleased with the ending and how the story pulls together. The climactic scene I have been envisioning since page one (actually, since page one of the prologue I have since cut) is powerful and moving—at least to me.
Self-doubt pushes in. What if the reader doesn’t get it? Have I been overly dramatic? Is that romantic scene too sappy? Maybe I haven’t gone deeply enough into my characters. I know what I meant to convey, but what if I haven’t succeeded? Does that soliloquy near the end fit? I wrote it when I was struggling with the silence of God, but maybe it doesn’t work for Colin.
Relax. It won’t be in bookstores next week. There is still time to grow.
The next stage is to send the manuscript to my agent and to several critical readers for suggestions on how I can strengthen it. Then I will take their ideas, along with all my second thoughts and the perspective that comes with time away from the manuscript, and revise and revise again. I love revisions. The story just gets better and better. What has been in my mind for literally years gets fleshed out and becomes more and more real. Once I have a contract, the publisher will probably ask for even more revision. They may even change the title, which is why The Empty Cup is referred to as the “working title.”
Don’t expect to get The Empty Cup for Christmas this year. Even if I signed a contract today, it could be as much as two years before the book is available in stores. Publishing is a long process. Writers don’t see the results of their efforts until long after they have put in the creative work. But oh the joy when it works!
To quote a recent movie and an old TV show, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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