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Lizzie + Bluebeard: Sharing a Work-in-Progress

It seems backward to write a book while also working the busiest season at our B+B and performing in the summer musical– but the energy of summer and long daylight (and some writing buddies to check in with three days a week) make it pretty easy.

This is the first time I’ve shared a book as I go. It’s always been tempting… and terrifying. Now the timing is right, and it’s been a great way to have accountability.

A surprise benefit has been writing up chapter summaries as I go. (I know internet strangers won’t all start reading at chapter one). I’m not an outliner, but I do appreciate having a loose outline form as I go. (I use Scrivener, which makes all of this a fast process).

This is how I imagine Bluebeard’s forbidden North Tower. Image:

I’ve often read that you should ‘write for an audience.’ And that’s just never been my natural style. I write for me. I write for the same reason I read: to discover a new land, to fall in love, to be delighted and transformed.

But I have a couple of good friends who, without any prodding on my part, have been reading the novel regularly. Sue just sent me a facebook message today saying she’s especially enjoyed the last two chapters. Julie reads the new chapters before bed. (Since the book is based on the very gory “Bluebeard” fairytale, this surprised me…) It’s nice to have that little boost to keep writing each week.

Lizzie + Bluebeard is built on the Bluebeard fairy tale, but also incorporates a few other stories I came across in my career as an oral storyteller, including “The Giant With No Heart in His Body” and various “Baba Yaga” tales. Today I got to write the meeting of Lizzie, Bluebeard’s 36th wife, and Baba Yaga, the Mother of All Witches…

Ch 29: Inside the Witch’s Hut Dawn breaks as Lizzie enters the witch’s yard. It is deserted but charged with magic. She knocks at the door…

What about you? What are you dreaming up?


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