Last month, I told you the story of my newest Work-In-Progress, about how I asked blog readers and Patreon supporters to help me name it, how I’m learning to use the Three Act Structure to plot my stories, and how one of my friends took pity on me and helped me organize my thoughts into a cohesive plan. I have also learned how to create a portable plotting notebook, which has also helped me a great deal. You can read about it in this post on my blog, Austen Promises.
This month, I’m going to give you an update on my progress, as well as an excerpt.
I’m making some pretty good progress, I think. Being a bit of a perfectionist and having high expectations for myself (I’ve been told more than once that I’m too hard on myself), I have not made as much progress as I’d like, but the story is progressing nicely. We are well into Act II, and very soon, I’ll be introducing an Original Character that Mrs. Bennet will throw at Lizzy. Of course, Lizzy has already formed an attachment, but not to the OC. 😉 Never fear, Darcy will always be paired with Lizzy in my stories. It wouldn’t be JAFF if he didn’t!
I do not have a date of completion set. My readers will know when I know. 🙂 In the meantime, please enjoy this excerpt, which has only been seen before by my Patrons at Patreon. To give you some context, in this variation, it was not Lizzy who got insulted at the assembly.
After bathing and breaking his fast, Darcy joined Bingley in riding to Longbourn. The two gentlemen enjoyed an easy conversation, for which Darcy was grateful. His stomach had been increasingly upset the closer to their destination they travelled. Talking to his friend steadied his nerves enough that he was not afraid of embarrassing himself.
The ride from Netherfield was a scant three miles, and within a short time, the gentlemen had arrived. They dismounted, handing the reins to a groom who had run out from the stables. After receiving the boy’s assurance that Apollo and Hades would be well looked after, Darcy followed Bingley up the shallow steps to Longbourn’s front door.
When the housekeeper answered Bingley’s knock, and he had stated their desires to call upon the ladies, she beckoned them inside with a curtsey.
“The ladies are in the drawing room, if you will follow me.”
Darcy examined the entry hall as he traipsed along behind Mrs. Hill. He nodded to himself at the cleanliness of the place and its tasteful decoration. Then, the housekeeper was opening a door and announcing him and Bingley. She stood aside for them to enter and curtseyed once more before leaving the room.
Immediately upon stepping into the drawing room, Darcy’s eyes found Elizabeth. She was stood in front of a settee in the middle of the room. He felt his lips lift as he bowed to her and her sisters. He heard his friend speak.
“Good morning, ladies. How are you this fine day?”
All three Bennet sisters who were present smiled at Bingley’s greeting. Jane, as the eldest, spoke for them all. “We are well, thank you. I hope you are the same?”
Bingley glanced at Darcy before he made his reply. “We are, at least, I am. Darcy?” Bingley turned to his friend with a grin.
Darcy wrenched his eyes away from Elizabeth. “I am well, also, I thank you.” He cleared his throat and clenched his fists to keep himself from fidgeting.
“We are happy to hear it,” Jane’s soft smile lit up her countenance. “Please, do be seated.”
Bingley happily pulled a chair up to Jane’s end of the settee and settled into it. Darcy, however, had noticed Miss Mary and, recalling his words at the assembly and his desire to both win Elizabeth’s hand and learn to deal with their mother, knew an apology was in order. He had known it for days, if not weeks, but as this was the first opportunity he had been granted to do so, he hoped it would be accepted with little fuss. He approached her, where she sat near her sisters, and bowed.
“Miss Mary, before I do anything else, I must formally apologize to you for my unfortunate words at the recent assembly. I assure you I did not mean them. I was distracted by some personal concerns and did not wish to dance. When Bingley urged me to allow us to be introduced, I only wished to be left alone. I have regretted my words ever since, and beg you to forgive me.”
Mary had put her tome aside as Darcy began to address her, and listened carefully, her hands in her lap. Then, she lifted her chin and, to his relief, accepted his apology. “I forgive you. It was hurtful, but the lingering pain is relieved by your gentlemanly apology. Thank you.”
And there you have it! If you are a reader of my blog, you just got an extra scene. If you’re not in the habit of traveling the blogs, and have therefore never seen any of this story before, I hope it whetted your appetite and intrigued you enough that you want to read it.
Again, I have no idea when I’ll get this out, but I’ll have a giveaway here at Austen Authors when I do. I promise. 🙂