I guess the question is if an unpublished manuscript is ever really ready.
Well, I'm happy to say that I am very close to the end of my rewrite on Queen. I have maybe one chapter to add toward the end, and a few scenes that I wrote in the last few days that I need to go over and flesh out. Then of course, I'll print it out, read the entire thing, then pass the edited copy to a couple of readers for final content and line editing.
Typically when I'm writing fresh material, I'm typing almost faster than I can think. So I have to go back and "slow it down" so to speak. Things like description, internal dialog and setting all need to be fleshed out--or just put in.
The unique thing about this thriller is that the reader also gets to hear the story of the Queen of Sheba from her own point of view. Every few chapters or so is a chapter about the queen. I've called her Nicaula in my book.
The biggest task I've had to work on is tying things together. This book has several key characters who all come together at the end. Saturday night I was able to write a key scene that brought many elements of the story to a close.
A couple weeks ago I had a fresh idea. I knew there had to be a written legend handed down from generation to generation about the Queen of Sheba. It had to give clues about her life, her love, her death, and her tomb. I searched on the internet and couldn't find anything. So I turned to the Bible and found scriptures that reference the Queen of Sheba (or Queen of the South). I also compiled a list of key words that needed to be in the poem: death, virgin, serpent, six palms, lilies, seven, beneath.
This also resulted in changing the last 150 pages of the book significantly.
So here is the poem, the ode, or the legend that I invented. Of course it may turn out to be completely different if and when the book is published, but just for fun, let me know what you think:
O Queen of the south
Death began your journey
To that night when seven women held one man
The feast of seven days brought him from your dreams
But your heart melted for another like incense spread gold upon cherubim
Until your desire became as bright as precious stones
Against your bed of spices, O Queen of the south,
Your lips are lilies; your chaplets of flowers fill palms of love
Yet your virgin flower faded as the face of the serpent appeared
As sunlight wasted, six branches closed and flowers wilted
Now the seven devils hide beneath the tomb
Waiting as seven lamps still burn above
Waiting for the Queen of the south
Copyright 2007 Heather B. Moore, All Rights Reserved