View Full Version : Beta wanted for romance/historical fiction WIP

05-02-2011, 07:11 PM
A few months ago I wrote a short story that has been nagging at me to make it into a full length novel. I'm in the process right now of tearing it to shreads and rebuilding it as a longer and (hopefully!) better story. Below is a small intro from my chapter 1. I'm looking at someone to work with on a chapter by chapter basis who isn't afraid to tear up. :)

Its set in the early 1900's as a lost letter makes its way from England to America. Though the letter was not intended for the recipient, it sparks a friendship and love deeper than either could have possibly imagined.

If anyone's interested just let me know.

The Authoress

In order for lovers to meet, worlds must first collide. Oceans have no depth nor land miles; but most importantly, the human heart knows no boundaries when two hearts are being pulled towards each other. It is a kind of gravity most only ever dream of.

Just as so many other great love stories, this one begins with a letter and an unfortunate error; an error which would forever change the lives of two individuals worlds apart.

As Iris held the letter in her hands and tried hard to fend off the curiosity slowly creeping down her fingertips, she couldn’t help but feel a bit saddened the first letter to grace her mailbox in weeks had been intended for someone else. Of course, she knew no one of whom she would expect a letter from these days. She had fully accepted her life of quiet, uneventful spinsterhood., in fact, some days she even revelled in it.

But not today.

The return address was from some place in England; Bakewell, Derbyshire to be exact. She had never met anyone from England before, which alone made this stranger’s mistake all too tempting. The letter was addressed to Mrs. Tom Crosthwaite, though there was no one in town by such a name Iris knew of.

She took the letter to her desk and, making up her mind, opened the envelope and unfolded the soft parchment inside. It smelled slightly stale, the way paper always does when it’s lived a full life. Iris loved the smell of used paper.

Dear Bethany,

The weather in Bakewell has been nothing but gray and dreary since you’ve left us. I hope you are finding America to be much more compliant with your love of sunshine and blue skies.

I miss Amelia terribly. Some nights, it feels as if my soul is only capable of half a life since her passing. How cruel is our God to take a woman who is barely twenty years of age and has hardly had a chance to live? Some days I wonder if my heart was ever even meant to love her. Perhaps love is nothing but a cruel game meant only for the strategically inclined. Perhaps my heart is meant to be a lone ship sailing the ocean as a reclusive nomad. Perhaps… love is only as real as fairytales.

I pray some evenings this cruel life would just end so I wouldn’t have to face the pain of another day trapped in this hell.

With growing frequency these days I find myself buried within the pages of William Blake’s prose. There is something about his words that seem to call to me in a way nothing else is capable of during this dark time. The books in my modest library have become much more than mere words on paper; they have become my most treasured friends.

Alas, I shall bore you no longer with my sorrow. I am happy for the new life you have found across the Atlantic. Please do write frequently so I can live vicariously through you in this new adventure your family has undertaken.

Missing you terribly,

Iris ran her fingers over the word ‘Frank’. Her heart was breaking for this man. Clearly he had lost a woman whom he had loved deeply. She wondered briefly if Amelia and Frank had been married or were merely betrothed.

Few things cause time to stop the way a shattered heart does. Iris couldn’t even imagine the kind of pain Frank was enduring right now, probably because she had never had the misfortune to lose her heart so completely to a man the way this stranger had to his Amelia. For Iris, to love meant to lose a part of yourself; and that was not a sacrifice she was willing to make.

The line about his books “becoming his most treasured friends” invoked a little string of fondness in her heart for this man. Through the darkness of his own personal hell Frank was able to create a small sanctuary where he could attempt to find peace rather than dwell on his sorrow. To Iris, there was something utterly captivating about a person who could perform such a casual, yet challenging act.

There was no choice. She simply had to return the letter and write one of her own to this faraway stranger admitting the intrusion and informing him of the misaddress.

Iris sat down at the desk and pulled a sheet of stationary out of the drawer. For what felt like an age, she stared at the sheet, begging her muse to inspire her with the perfect words. The simplest task such as addressing the thing seemed almost impossible, as meaningless words created a wall between her mind and her fingertips. She was writing a letter to a man she had never met and never would meet, yet she knew his name and a very private corner of his heart. Frank wasn’t simply a stranger anymore, for she had become his unintentional confidant. Propriety suggested she address it “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir”, but the informality seemed sorely inappropriate in this instance.

Dear Frank...

05-05-2011, 08:50 PM
I would be interested...if it was finished. Sounds like you need a writing partner.