My Dilemma

I lack only one last chapter having the final revision of The Dream of Shiloh finished.  I have been working on it almost every day since I returned from the Blue Ridge Writer’s Retreat in mid October.  I learned so much at the conference so I know my much labored over novel is still too, too long to offer to a publisher.  But, after much editing, rewriting, and cutting a few episodes, I don’t think I can cut any more and tell the story I set out to tell.

I have nearly decided to self-publish this first volume of The Shiloh Saga so I can keep this first part in tact.  When I start the second draft of ‘Til Shiloh Come’ I will try to keep the word limit to the 80,000 to 120,000 words that Historical Romances usually have and try to get it published.  I guess the main reason is that I want to see if my books are good enough to be accepted for publication.  I hate the cutting process because all the things I want to say about Arkansas growing and developing and about the nature and culture of Northeast Arkansas are so much a part of the story I am trying to tell.

The second part of the book is probably more historical than it is romance.  Laurel and Mac’s story is still important, but their involvement in the political world of the state, and their dealing with the problems faced by the yeoman farmers of the state in that time carries much of the movement of the plot.  I hate making the choice of what I can cut and what I can keep.

Anyway, my dilemma is to self-publish and move on to a new project or not to self-publish and continue to pare my word count to an acceptable limit.  I’d love to hear from other aspiring authors.  I think it would help me make the right decision about The Dream of Shiloh.


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Writing has become my second career. Learning to put my stories in a format to be read, interacting with other writers, and seeing people enjoy my books make my days busy and purposeful. Blessed by God, I have a gift that allows me to follow a new path during my retirement.

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