First draft completed


I finished the first draft of my upcoming novel, The Wendy House – a not-quite-prequel/not-quite-sequel to Waiting For Spring – early this afternoon.

The writing of it caused many tears, sleepless nights, joy, headdesk moments, and spawned a coffee mug.

The plot itself didn’t change very much during the last two-and-a-half years, but pretty much everything else – point of view, characterization, narrative style, supporting characters – did. Goodness only knows how the rewriting process will go. But I’m very pleased with how the thing has fleshed out so far. There are lots of interesting and surprising twists for readers who think they know the story of Rick and Wendy LaChance, and I hope you all will be happy with it when it’s finally released.

Several weeks ago, I posted the first chapter here for y’all to read. What I didn’t tell you is that the novel will actually open with the first of many entries from Wendy’s diary. Here it is:

——————————————

July 17, 1992
I met Rick on a hot August afternoon. That seems important now, since I may never see another August. It was thirteen years ago, almost. We were both seventeen. It was on a dry dirt road and his car—it was a brown Chevy something-or-other—stirred up too much dust and made me cough. He pulled over when he saw that I was struggling to bury a porcupine in the hard ground beside the road. He didn’t ask me why, just grabbed the shovel from my hands and started digging. I told him anyway and he grinned.

It was the grin that did it. It was crooked, cocky. It crackled with sex, with life, and I wanted to soak it all up. To soak him up. I wanted him to be my first, my first everything, right at that moment.

When he was finished, once the corpse was safely hidden, he gave me back my shovel, lit a cigarette and asked me my name. I had to take a deep breath before I said, Wendy. He smiled again and told me his.

I knew at that moment a door had opened up for me. I just didn’t know that when I walked through it a thousand others slammed shut.

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About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

9 responses to “First draft completed

  • robinaltman

    That gave me a chill down my spine. I want more. Really. Now, please.

  • R.J. Keller

    Thanks Robin! (Soon…sort of…)

  • Cherri Galbiati

    “Waiting For Spring” touched me deeply. Really deep. Soooo, when is “The Wendy House” to be released??? (don’t you just love getting asked that? lol)

    Your opening for “The Wendy House” has the depth that every reader hungers for more. And every writer forgetting they are writers and get caught up in an incredible story, waiting to be told.

  • R.J. Keller

    Thanks so much, Cheri! I’m truly glad you enjoyed it.

    Right now, plans are for The Wendy House to be released this spring. I’ll keep everyone posted, though.

  • Joe Glasgow

    I like it. Just that little taste is very good. Looking forward to the rest!

  • Bryan Thompson

    RJ, I really like the sound of this book. Are you typically a fan of book sequels? I have two in mind for my book, but I am trying to design them so that they could stand on their own just the same. How do you format your sequels?

  • R.J. Keller

    Hey Bryan, great question. It really depends on the novel and the execution as to whether I’m a fan of the sequel or not. Some storylines lend themselves to it, some not so much. For example, a straight sequel wouldn’t work well with “Waiting For Spring.” Tess and Brian’s journey comes to an end and I think it would be cheap to try to pick up their story now. Instead I’m developing the story of two minor characters. They wouldn’t leave me alone, so I had no choice. It’s not a true sequel, it’s more of a companion, as it expands on events and backstory that were touched on in the first. And I’m with you…although this book will interest readers of the first, I’m doing my damndest to see that it could stand on its own. This will be my last journey into New Mills, though.

    Regarding formatting…I created a timeline from book #1 of events that are set in absolute stone. Other than that, I’ve pretty much got free rein.

  • Bryan Thompson

    Interesting. I had an idea for something like this, too, with “The Dreaming Highway,” but instead of a novel, I decided to take an extremely minor character in the novel and place her in a side adventure that has slight things to do with the novel. I’d give the short story away as an Ebook when someone subscribes to my blog. Haven’t done it yet, but I’m working on it. 🙂

    The only issue is that you’d have to read the novel to know what it’s talking about, so that might not work. Hmm, still contemplating it all..

  • Fifth anniversary « Ingenious Title To Appear Here Later

    […] * as opposed to long-dead wives, as is the case in the upcoming The Wendy House. They bring LOTS of conflict. […]

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