Pure Writing

Good thing I reviewed my last blog, for I was about to repeat most of what I blogged last time. The only change is … my sketch draft is about half way done. PURE WRITING — I love that phase of the process. Putting down the words with little thought about serious details, those names and places that are ironed out later. It’s the raw or pure thoughts that come into view, onto the keyboard, and ultimately on the screen. I work in Pages mostly; the mac equivalent to Word. For submission purposes I simply export in the proper format.

Several comments I’ve received have common questions … like, ‘how long have you been blogging?’ It’s been 1-1/2 years since I started this blog when I was in the process of pitching my very first novel. The main purpose of this blog is to document the steps I have taken to attain my goal of having a published book. It’s a very simple design using themes available through wordpress. So thanks, for the positive comments. So far, I don’t have guest bloggers, videos, or links. I concentrate on the content alone.

As I said earlier, I am in the same situation I was a month ago. I’m still waiting to hear from the publisher. It’s tough waiting and wondering what my MS will look like when I do received the first set of proofs. I have a feeling when I do see the proof it will be a whirlwind trip to the final product. I have already considered cover artwork and sent in some suggestions. They may have a completely different concept and I am very anxious to see the ideas.

What else have I been doing lately? Reading, writing, not much arithmetic. but I have come across several great reads. A couple epic fantasy fictions; The Cycle of Arawn by Edward W. Robinson, Everything by Michale J. Sullivan,  and Winter’s Fire by Giles Kristian and  the latest Historical Fiction from Bernard Cornwell The Flame Bearer. By the way his latest book (10) in the Last Kingdom Series is everything I anticipated it would be. Uhtred of Bebbanburg … well, I won’t be a spoiler here, but it was a great conclusion (?) to the series and now that I have a tad more understanding of all that goes into writing a novel he deserves props for bringing this massive series to a conclusion.

In researching my latest novel, the sequel to Summer Palace, I have been reading Poland by James Michener and The Enemy at the Gate by Andrew Wheatcroft. All adding inspiration to my sequel Winter Dwelling. I have found writing to be an alternate creative outlet for my reckless self, and there is also a more decisive component which is not so much my forte, but is absolutely necessary to corral all those ideas into a readable and organized final product.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

The Process

I’m gearing up for what’s to come in the next few months. I am anxiously waiting to hear from the publisher who I’ve partnered with for my first novel. The first step “house styling” is a monumental task. Most likely the most time-consuming step in the process – I gather. As I know from my last correspondence with the publisher my MS has not gone to the proofreaders yet. I plan to contact them again mid-December and I hope the proofs will be on their way to me by that point.

I am thrilled beyond measure to have success with my fourth novel. My hope is that you will enjoy the story as well.

Summer Palace is a Romance Fiction with Historical Elements. Complete at 71,114 words.

Set in a tumultuous time in Russia, before the reign of Peter the Great, a young man rages against the new man in his mother’s life. Fiona Breuder is a strong woman who has kept the family together after their father abandoned them, and is horrified to find that her son harbored such ill feelings.

Wiley Breuder is sent to work the farm of Herr Brom and soon discovers his love for horses and the simple joys of life it offers. One day he finds a servant girl in his stable and is moved by her simple request to ride a horse for the first and last time.

He soon discovers her true identity after befriending the heir to the Summer Palace. He must elevate his station in life or lose Katia; the one person who touched his troubled heart.

Wiley and the Baron’s son join the Russian army and are immersed into the horror of seven years of war. They aren’t heard from until Pavel arrives home, years later, wounded, and is cared for by Wiley’s sister.

Wiley is given up for dead, and Katia finds herself betrothed to a man she doesn’t love. Despite the devastating news, she makes the fateful decision to find him, but she forfeits her life by disgracing her family and sets off to find the boy who sacrificed everything to win her father’s approval.

Please watch for it this spring.

In the meantime, I have finished my third novel after a complete reconstruction it is ready to be presented. The Tea Room is a Historical Fiction complete at 76,231 words. It also is set in Russia in the 17th Century with all new characters and circumstance.

I have started to write a sequel to Summer Palace for now I’m calling it Winter Dwelling but that may change. I am again enjoying the early stages of writing a novel. However, I am now much more aware of the process and hope to avoid some of the errors I made in my first novels. The errors I refer to are the hours of work that come with getting a ‘sketch draft’ (which is what I call my first draft) ready for publishing; format, structure, syntax, pov, etc.

I have set goals for myself and I’m happy to say I’m on target  give or take a few months.

Originally, I planned to have my novel in the process of being printed by my substantial birthday in April 2016. I was devastated when the irons I had in the fire grew cold. However, I didn’t give up and emerged myself in a re-education and re-edit. Four months later I sent out the query and was happy to receive an offer for my story. My second goal was to have another MS ready in case my first story went over so well they’d want first option on another. As of today, I have reached that goal.

My next goal? I’d better get on that. Four published novels by my next substantial birthday? Let me sleep on that.

Observations from my side

I wanted to write a story. Nlyot a bestselling novel or a trilogy that will inspire a movie or bring in the big bucks. I wasn’t looking for the formula ‘boy band’ technique of writing that would hit all the bells and whistles of the perfectly constructed book of the day. I sat down and started to write a story. Much like most things I have done in life … you know, one foot in front of the other … just do it, the little engine, etc.. Enter ignorant and come out educated – that is the plan.

This is not a get rich quick scheme. It’s more a labor of love.  At the end of the day you have to end up with something that is so much a part of you that if it never sees the light of day – that would be okay.

Well, it would be nice to share the story. The characters, the setting, and the essence you breathed into it deserves recognition, right? Your characters will be loved and their story will keep the readers on the edge of their seats.

The rejection, the time spent, the hours re-writing is part of the process – I find. But, is my story worth it? From which far off recesses in my mind did this story flow what is the source? There are so many great stories and so many great authors, and what’s one more? One more little book on the shelf with my name on it. Is that the allure? Not sure.

It certainly takes drive. It takes more than drive: confidence, commitment, and a little derangement. It’s also a waiting game time to revisit your patience – in this day and age? Really?  Send out twenty queries and wait. Throw everything out there and see what sticks. A barrage of procedure awaits and I can only talk about the point where I’m at now. Waiting for proofs. Wondering about what comes next and how will it all turn out? There will be a press release.

I have finished my second book and only need to print it out and read it in it’s hard-copy format. Look for glaring errors in timeline, research, and grammar. I am loosely formulating what my next project will be. I have several WIP’s, but I am itching to free write again. I await some inspiration in the meantime I will readdress one of my stories which have been put aside for over eight months; because, that is the depth of dedication needed (for me) to get to an acceptable product.

I hope my latest effort is as well received as my first one eventually was (after 200 rejections).

The Not Waiting Continues

Another two weeks has passed, it’s becoming a pattern these two week intervals between blogs. I shot an e-mail off to the publisher for a progress report. My MS is being formatted and I need to give them more time to get through the proofread, and then I will get the proofs in the post.

But, I’m not waiting, I forge on. My Tea Room novel is growing by leaps and bounds, but I have hit a few snags. Timeline errors and my plan for the book has shifted somewhat. Originally, I wanted to get into the mind of my main character and look at the world from her limited POV. I have drifted away from that and now I need to reassess my reason for writing this story. How does she exist? How does she get through her days? This is coming from a twenty-first century woman trying to understand a seventeenth century woman. Are we that much different?

By the way, I am reading a book (audio) Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan, I am thoroughly enjoying the second book in the series the Riyira Revelations. It’s an epic fantasy and very well written and amusing. I thought I would add that into the mix.

Anyway, I am working hard and not being distracted by outside influences. It seems to be working for me. This blog is my story of how I got to where I am. Last year at this time; I was entering contests, writing short stories, and building a platform to market myself. This year I am strictly writing and time will tell if I have found the answer to my dilemma of getting my novel published.

I have always believed in fate and not fighting against the set backs I have encountered. If you’ve been reading my blog you will know that I have had rejections that took the wind out of my sails (about three days to recover). It’s therapeutic to step back and look at my work trying to understand why others don’t see what I see.

I was lucky, my MS hit ; the right place, at the right time, and read by the right people. I heard that mantra over and over, and it’s true. Don’t give up there is someone out there who gets the message you are trying to send.

One day; I was on one side of the wall, the next day I had scaled it, but got hung up. Now, I’m not quite sure what I will find when I eventually free myself and fall into the partnership I have formed with my publisher. Again, the more time that goes by I start to wonder about those questions … How much are they going to edit my work? The common errors I make, and I know I make plenty, but will I be able to learn to avoid them in my next novel? What does my production person think of my novel? I plan to learn from this experience and write more smoothly … get right to the point before I spend months cleaning it up. I’m sure different publishers have their own criteria and way they do things. I will have to learn that as well.

This was the fourth book I wrote and it was a gamble to set my sights on this one and stick with it. I’m not sure if the first three will ever be published. I plan on writing more novels it’s a creative outlet that I had no idea I could channel until I sat down to write. Was it good enough? Besides the editors at the publishing company there was only one other person who read it; my dear sister, Catherine. She thought it was good enough and made me believe it. Now, others will believe it as well. The Summer Palace by S. Forrest Nomakeo watch for it — Spring 2017 at a bookseller near you.

So, my advice. Write it, live it, breath it, and surround yourself with loved ones, and believe in yourself.

Time Flies

It has been almost three weeks since my last blog. I have to continue telling my story, because, it is only partially complete. Perhaps, I will never be done. Last blog I mentioned the contract I received. I sent it back immediately on August 23. I received a questionnaire and a request for pen name and actual title I want to use. So many options. My name is twenty one letters long. Too long I figure for a normal paperback sized book. I had to shorten it somehow. What gives? My first name which has some nostalgia connected. My middle name which is actually my maiden name which I changed when I was married. Or my last name, my spouse’s name which I have had longer than my own name. I decided S. Forrest Nomakeo would be my pen name. The title Summer Palace was already decided, but what about a sub title? A Path to Destiny, Unbridled Destiny or A long way home. I decided no subtitle, so simply Summer Palace.

The questionnaire was thorough and the fact that I had queried this book, written a synopsis, formed a log line, and biography–was a great help. So I suggest when you complete your novel get to writing those necessary bits of information. It may actually help you with your story. The questionnaire took a few hours, but it would have been a struggle without having those thoughtful considerations of my story in place.

I am now waiting for a first set of proofs. I have been assigned a production person and have been in contact with the production department. Right now, my hands are free. Tomorrow will be one week since I sent in the required questionnaire and name confirmation.

What I did next, with the help of my sister Catherine, was to make a plan. I’m giving myself six months to complete two novels. Both of which have been completed and sent out and refused or rejected by agents. I hate to admit it, it hurts to admit it, but I can almost see why. After learning more about the technical aspect of writing, I’m assuming this because my novel was picked up, and applying it to these other two books I believe they have become better and still a hell of a lot of fun to write or re-write in my case. After the six month time frame I may be too busy to write for a time. I’ll need to dedicate time and energy to marketing my book. Yeah! I’d love to send a second novel to the publisher on the heals of the first one. Not sure what their thoughts will be on that, but I must be prepared.

I had been spending time reworking my third book, but its a sci-fi time traveling fantasy far too different from my Historical Fiction Romance that is being printed. My second and third books (part A) are more along the Historical Fiction genre and will fall in nicely after Summer Palace. In the questionnaire I sent in I was asked to supply a vision for the cover of my book. Being a designer I couldn’t resist that one They may or may not take a suggestion, but they wanted to hear my thoughts. There are so many issues to be excited about, but I have to wait patiently. No one likes an antsy client.

When I wrote my first book Woven and had it out on queries only to wait three or four months to receive no reply, which means no in this industry. I didn’t–wait that is. I wrote my second book. And when Woven was sent in to an agent as a partial MS another month of waiting. I continued to write my second book Tea Room.

When I received a no on the partial MS I sent it into the book Pipeline thinking perhaps it had enough story to be picked up there. So queries went out on my second novel and I started to write my third story a Historical Fiction called Curious Allure. Which I eventually separated into two books. The aforementioned and The Places You Will Be From. Places as I refer to it is the Sci-Fi Fantasy I mentioned earlier that I had worked on for the past month, but have since put it aside to finish Historical Fiction books two and three.

So, that is where I am. Waiting but not waiting. I’m building an arsenal for my panser attack. To all of you pantsers that write like me what you have at the end of your writing frenzy is a Sketch Draft. A wonderful thing and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Us pantsers have to stick together. If you have a solid beginning, middle, and end, that is about 40,000 or 50,000 words, then you have what you need to end up with a 70,000 to 80,000 word novel once you go in and embellish, outline your characters, describe your scenes, and develop dialogue. Don’t forget proofread. It must be your best effort. Granted it will be morphed by an in-house editor but it will be earlier for them to sift through if it is written well. N.B. I worked for four months perfecting my MS. However, after that I slammed the cover and sent it out. I was second guessing small details and decided that that was enough.

Again, I recommend the Novel Maker’s Handbook by Diane O’Connell. If you’re like me it made sense.

Looking at the word count and being mindful that I have to get back to finishing my novel–I will sign off. I will keep you posted on my progress and all the exciting anticipatory fun of getting a book published and all it entails.

Writing a Book about Writing a Book

I needed a purpose to write a blog. So, I decided to blog about my efforts to write a novel and get it published. I should write a book. As I journeyed through I started to worry … what good is writing a blog about writing a book if there is no success?

That thought occurred many times and when you’re experiencing one failure after another the realization is quite depressing. Is that what has kept me going? The fear of having egg on my face or the thought of writing about all my mistakes? Putting every misstep out there for the world to see. Now, I believe that won’t be nagging at me anymore; because, I have an offer from a publisher to print my novel.

Originally I was following suggestions to build a platform and get an online presence. It’s strange because, when push came to shove I put the blogging aside and even suggested that writing the book is the most important objective. IT IS; however, the blogging helped the writing skills and I have gained several readers of my blog that have sent great comments that truly kept my spirits up. Now that I have an offer I also have a platform already established. So what is my point? Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.

I’m thinking how cool will it be to continue to blog beyond what has culminated to this point. This particular story started, as you know, if you have been reading my blog, by following the advice of an agent who rejected my partial MS. I pitched this agent at the WDC ’15. However, along with the rejection e-mail she recommended a book. The Jeff Herman Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents. In this book I found the publisher that sent me a contract. I also followed the advice of two editors I hired for two different projects. Diane O’Connell’s book the Novel Makers Handbook was used to edit the Summer Palace the novel that is going to be published.

I also have a very supportive family. My spouse has given me every opportunity to explore my creative impulse to write a novel. My sister has read every bit of writing I have thrown at her and has painstakingly sat with me through tough edits and red wine.

How did I get here? Fear, determination, and creative necessity.

Earlier, I blogged about the wait. Five weeks later I got my answer. In the meantime, I have been writing my next novel and I hope this publisher will be interested in that as well as other irons I have in the fire.

In my notice above about people I am grateful for I failed to mention my readers of this blog. From time to time I have mentioned how the comments have helped. Thank you for your interest in my story and the saga continues.

I am going to dedicate this book to Catherine. She is my sister and the inspiration for this new path I am on. Today I will mail in the contract and I will continue to share my experience with you.

Still Waiting

I’m taking the time out today to blog. I am still waiting for what will hopefully be my big news. I have a full MS being reviewed by editor’s at a publishing company. I am trying not to dwell on the idea of the doors that may open because it is not a certainty. It is further than I have ever gotten in this business, but I have had so many rejections and no responses that I am a little tentative to run out in the street and scream to the heavens.

I am not waiting however,  my power packed novel Places You Will Be From  was a 70,000 word completed MS. But, when I sent it out for a professional edit I was told it was too much for one book. Between the accidental time travel, too many characters,  and futuristic interference from a 25th Century genius it was cut down to 20,000 words for the book. So, I decided to write a trilogy.

Coincidentally, I was reading a novel by Michael Sullivan Age of Myth a good story and the first in a three part series the second book will be out in Summer 2017. In the prologue, the author mentioned that he writes all three books before he releases the first one. That way he can thread the story between all three books and not have problems with a break through in content or publishing restrictions. Before I heard this (audiobook) I had a similar plan. You may discover something about a character in the second half of the second book and only have regrets if the book is already being published. The author did warn about the difficulty of writing three books at once, but I do see the benefits. I have also read Elegant Universe by Physicist, Brian Greene for research for my current book. I am reading it again for obvious reasons.

I am also going to a location to research a part of this current book. This is the first time I am doing that. I am also using my hometown and the familiar landmarks surrounding it. That is also a first. It’s fun writing about things you know.

So, I am working hard to have the books written while I wait for the decision on my book Summer Palace. I had a successful first read through with my sister on Places You Will Be From 1 I had gone through scene by scene and did a character outline. It is currently 36,000 words. Places You Have Been 2 is currently 34,000 words and Places You Have Never Been 3 is at 3,500 words. I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed.

What is great about it is. Free writing when you wish, careful editing when you have to, and filling in details when the mood moves you. Choices, I love choices.

I have several other projects. One of which is the reason I started this blog. Woven In Time is in stasis. It is waiting for me to get the skill I need to tackle it again. It was my first book 140,000 words full of jam packed action and fantasy and rejected queries and partial MS. After the professional edit on Places You Will Be From I learned that I have several books wrapped up in Woven In Time. There is also The Tea Room a 65,000 word novel also on hold. I also have two short stories Lucid Dreams and Curious Allure both of which have the potential to become novels. There are several irons in the fire.

I have received some great comments. Thanks readers and keep them coming. I appreciate the offers to share links and co-author but at this point I am focusing on my writing and can’t take on any additional projects.

Spilling More Guts

My first blog ever was This Is Me Spilling My Guts and that was a little over one year ago. One of the things I learned and wrote about is that you have to keep your eye on the prize. I listened to every bit of criticism I received. Well, eventually I did.

I stopped blogging, stopped Tweeting, and focused on the task at hand. My writing. I read the writing manuals and grammar books and methodically looked at my work. Of the three books I had on a website that critiqued my work one stood out 10% higher that the rest. I suppose I needed to do all those things to get where I am, but when push came to shove WRITING won out.

After a professional edit on one book I decided to learn the steps of writing a novel by applying them to the story I thought would have the most success or was the most complete. I put everything aside and wrote. I printed it out and spent two weekends proofing it with my sister. Four months later I took one of the recommended books on agents, publishers, and editors and decided to take two from each category and send out queries. I sent two to agents who requested woman’s fiction, two to  agents I thought would be receptive to my story, two to independent publishers, two to commercial printers, two to agents who prefer fiction. One publisher requested three chapters, but not necessarily the first three, for they requested any three.

I had combed through the first line of this book, first paragraph, first page, and first chapter so many times that this idea intrigued me. So, I picked three chapters from the end of the novel. Five days later I received a request for the full MS.

You heard me right. It came in the mail. US post. I had to read it twice; because, if you’ve read my blog you know I have sent out over 50 queries and received half as many rejections. The point is. I got really serious with my writing. Made myself crazy over periods and commas. Then told myself I was done. Six weeks is what it will take to hear one way or another. So I wait. but not really. I am working on the book I put aside to learn the skills and steps.

Spilling my guts is what I’m doing. I had a tendency not to mention my milestone. It is a first for me and if it’s another rejection. I’ll take it badly of course, but I will be so much closer to my goal of getting published. I did have a partial MS accepted before, but it was eventually rejected. So, I imagine what it would be like to be over that hurdle and I’m sure I’ll share it with you right here in this blog. Spilling my guts.

Learning to Walk

I came out running. That was my problem. I started this blog one year ago. I was on my way to a writer’s conference with my MS which was actually a first draft or even a sketch draft. But, I was running and soon realized I had to learn to walk first.

I have spent the last four months completing my novel Summer Palace. I took it from a novella, some 21,000 words long, to a novel of 71,114 words. The ‘filler’ information was all dialog and description. However, I did add some content that was in my head and never made it to the page. At one point I felt it was necessary and vital to add it to the story. I was afraid of going off on a tangent but came to find that it was one of my favorite scenes.

I also built character outlines and scene cards with color-coded POV’S. If you had read an earlier blog where I mentioned I sent my first 60 pages, from another story Places, to a professional editor and was advised to re-edit using a more structured format. I put that project on the back burner and concentrated solely on Summer Palace as a trial more or less.

At the time, since the editorial service was quite expensive I thought I would give due diligence and ‘learn’ the process while completing another WIP. I worked non-stop for four months not even taking time to blog or tweet (regularly). I was on these platforms daily, but had to be focused–something had to give. Now, with the completion of Summer Palace I am ready to tackle Places and continue to write on this blog whenever possible.

I have learned so much, navigated the landmines of criticism, and managed to have faith in myself to move forward. I recently read an article on Internal Dialog. This is one of the items I need to address in my WIP. As a tool to develop a style in writing internal dialog the exercise is to write for fifteen minutes something from my own personal thoughts. So here it is:

I set my timer because I’m getting old, perhaps numb. When I write I lose all sense of time. Plus, the fact that I’m getting old and it’s getting harder to see. Most of my docs are at 18 point to make it easier. It also mean s more paper on MS drafts printed out, but who’s counting?

I am usually someone of a very few words. However, I find myself spewing forth thoughts that most often remain unspoken. There is so much to this process. I have received many critiques. Some positive and some not so much. On the same samples. So, who do I believe? I have to count out the top two and bottom two due to attrition or some other reason. Then, there’s a frothy mix of a more accurate account of my work. I see some common occurring pro’s and con’s and still many typo’s that were gone over and over but still seem to shine brightly on the page. However, I have to admit it is almost impossible to read a WIP and not correct it every time you read it. Sometimes, minute little changes that I probably change from one to the other each time I read the sentence. Hence, the shocking typo’s are often from recently added or changed copy. I also wonder how much of the tedious going over and over the copy will be futile, for the final editors may remove volumes of copy or even delete scenes. I have also taken suggestions to slow down the pace of my story only to  have the opposite review after the edits are made to speed up the pace. That is where critiques are to be weighed and balanced and the writer needs to be the final arbiter.

Checking my timer I have two minutes left. What do I want to say in my final internal dialog?

It never goes away, that feeling of inadequacy. The feeling that perhaps you are not good enough. But, then there are the excellent posts on this blog and the encouragement from family and friends. The level of self-worth is fluctuating and when it’s up it’s the best feeling in the world.

Final thought.

Blogging is internal dialog.

Preoccupied

Hello, I am in the process of finalizing my novel. I am preparing to send out queries and finalizing is a four letter word. I am constantly going through my MS for the last time. I heard a quote that a MS isn’t finalized until it goes to press. I’m finding the truth in that statement. I am compiling a list of ten agents to submit to and all have different requirements. Although, all are similar there are details that I need to be concerned with. Ex., a one page synopsis, a two page synopsis, or a 500 word synopsis-requires three separately written recaps of the story.

I have been concentrating on the MS and not much else lately. After all my priority is the book. The blog and media outlets are to create a platform for the former. I have been neglectful of this blog but I also realize my novel wouldn’t be where it is-wherever that is-without it. I have used the blog to test run excerpts from the various WIP’s and love the feeling of free writing. Also, in an effort to write everyday I have used the blog to more or less document my progress. I am still working toward my goal of getting an agent and getting my novel published.

Right now I need a 500 word synopsis of my story Summer Palace and thought I would get it done here killing five birds with one stone (maybe two).

Summer Palace is a love story set in 17th Century Russia shortly before Peter the Great’s reign. Katia is a young Muscovite woman who has grown up in the terem tradition. Katia is willful, defiant, and not at all like her siblings. Her mother treats her differently and it becomes obvious that the dark-haired beauty is a product of an affair and an inconvenience.

Katia is not content to exist as a compliant, subdued, and manageable daughter. She longs for life outside and is drawn to her chamber window to observe the world she cannot be part of. Her longings become her dreams and soon her reality when she escapes the terem dressed as a servant girl and goes to the stables on the Estate and asks to ride one of the stallions.

The stable is empty except for the sullen boy who is there to pay restitution for the damage he did to the Stable Master who is courting his mother. He tries to send Katia away but his heart softens to her when he realizes that she is not what she seems. He finds it in his heart to take her back to the Palace on the black stallion. In all her dreams she never imagined the exhilaration of the ride and the closeness of the boy.

Katia’s brother meets the stable boy and they become comrades. They talk of their traditions and cultures. Wiley a foreigner living in the New German Quarters and Pavel the son of a Baron and the heir to the Estate work out their differences. The Tsar Feodor III is frail and considered unfit to rule, but he proves the critics wrong by keeping the policies of his father and surrounding himself with capable men.

In 1676 Russia becomes involved in the Ukranian war against the Ottoman Empire and Pavel and Wiley join the Dragoons. Pavel makes the announcement to his family and Katia is distraught. She sees Wiley outside her chamber window and decides to risk all. They ride into the night and plan their future. They are found out and Pavel tries to cover for them and is banished while Katia is forcibly betrothed to a nobleman’s son.

Dimitry Rostov has no desire to be married and has a similar reason to put off marriage as Katia. Together they grow to love and respect one another by remaining true to their hearts. The war wages on. Pavel is wounded and returned home. Wiley is lost and resurfaces after escaping an Ottoman prison. He is not aware of the troubles back home with the streltsly led coup and imposition of Sophia as Regent after the untimely death of her brother Feodor III.

The story concludes when Katia decides to find Wiley who has since abandoned his life and rides with the Cossacks on the Eastern Steppes. She follows the unit sent to the Crimea and finds Wiley has changed. She has risked all and given up any chance of a good life and is devastated by the scene she witnesses.

After he convinces her and they escape the persecution of their cousin who seeks revenge they depart to Germany and Pavel goes home to Moscow to make peace with his father.