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An Exercise in “Persuasion” – Shannon Winslow’s WIP — 53 Comments

  1. Shannon, I love this already!!! I know and adore Persuasion as well as P&P, so I did have a sense of plot familiarity going in, but I think that a reader who doesn’t necessarily know the story would still understand your first chapter…and I am wholeheartedly intrigued about Jane’s relationship with the mysterious Captain Devereaux! Truly, you have hooked me already — can’t wait until you finish this novel and release it! (Hurry. 🙂 )

    • Believe me, I’m trying to hurry, Marilyn. I’d love to hole up someplace where I have no other demands and just write! Thanks for your comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed chapter 1!

  2. I thought it was fantastic! I love Persuasion as well and am familiar with it and think you did a great job 🙂 I agree with Marilyn above – please finish this soon LOL 😀

    • Yay! I’m so glad there are other Persuasion enthusiasts out there. I’m hoping to cultivate a few more before I’m through.

  3. Shannon, like you, Persuasion is my second favourite Jane Austen novel. Your first chapter above looks really promsing. Will you be posting any more of it here, or do we have to wait for the whole thing to be published? If the latter, I’ll definitely be putting it on to my ever increasing Wish List.

    My familiarity with the source work certainly made this extract emjoyable. If I hadn’t read it, I think I’d be wanting to go and get a copy straight away. I’m looking forward to finding out more about the mysterious Captain Devereaux.

    P.S. The picture you’ve posted above of Captain Wentworth, as he was portrayed by Ciaran Hinds, is my favourite FW in screen adapations so far.

    • I always expect that people will read my books because they love Jane Austen, but I’ve been delighted to find it sometimes works the other way round (as you imply in your comment). What a privilege to be the one who introduces a person to JA! As for more excerpts, I haven’t decided, so please put me on your wish list!

  4. This is such a good beginning, I was immediately drawn into the story. I have read Persuasion many times because, like you, it’s my second favourite Austen, so it was clear where you were going with this. I would think that it would be clear to somebody who hasn’t read Persuasion that it’s a story of second chances, so they wouldn’t be lost. I think generally you’re only going to get the full effect from a story based on Persuasion if you’ve read that book, but the backstory of Anne and Wentworth isn’t dealt with in much detail in Persuasion, it’s more to do with her feelings of regret and continuing love and I think this is communicated well in your excerpt.

  5. I enjoyed the beginning. The premise was obvious from the description of the pain that was never far from her mind. This is a reflection on what was at that time considered a “small” life with regret to the much larger life that Jane Austen has now. Being the odd person out Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel so I am glad to see the telling of that story by Jane Austen herself. Thanks for the preview.

  6. I love everything Persuasion and am happy to think your site will feature it as a group write later on!
    Your premise is interesting in the idea that Anne and Wentworth mirror Jane’s own life. I could picture Jane writing it. Thank you!

  7. How very intriguing and exciting of a start. I look forward to reading the entirety in the future. I understood completely the premise of your story and perhaps anyone who reads this excerpt without having read Persuasion will open that novel as well. All the best on the completion of the book.

    • I would love it if this post encourages people to read Persuasion for the first time. It’s such a wonderful, but often overlooked, book. Thank you for your comment, Rosanna!

  8. I loved the story and the point of view if was written from. I found it vweu waay to follow. I really enjoyed seeing what was going on on the writer’s head. I was sorry when it ended and can’t wait to read more. It was a let down when it ended. Absolutely love the story as it is.

  9. I’m looking forward to reading more! I also love Persuasion, and I agree with another commenter who said we don’t get to revel in the Anne-Frederick relationship together before they were separated, so I hope we can see some of that. Initially, I thought that this was going to have something to do with Cassandra, as didn’t she have an understanding with a gentleman who died while serving in the military? But I quickly realized we are talking about Jane. I also see that you have portrayed what Jane must have suffered from family members or others who thought her being an author was some quirky hobby that wasn’t worthy of continuing.

    • Yes, Kathy, Cassandra was engaged to a man named Tom Fowle, who died of a fever while away on an expedition. And JA’s family was actually very supportive of her writing in general – they were a very literary bunch. I just chose to use Mrs. Austen to voice some of the social constraints of the time (against novels being a legitimate literary form and against “ladies” having a paid profession of any kind).

      I’ve always wondered why JA didn’t give us more about Anne and Cpt. Wentworth’s early relationship, when they first fell in love and got engaged. So I gave that a lot of thought and provided some explanation for it in the book, as well as a more comprehensive look at the early stage of Jane’s romance with her captain.

    • Thank you, Susan. Glad you enjoyed Chapter 1. As one of my favorite beta readers, you’ll be among the first to get a look at the rest when it’s finished. 😉

  10. I didn’t know where else to put this comment. I have been sitting at my computer all day today and all day for the last 2 weeks writing technical notes. But I have found a group of friends with Austen Variations. Some “old” friends that I have read before and some new that have been added to my TBR list. Put as I have worked to distraction this last few weeks to meet a deadline that moves on a daily basis, I know that that I can stop for a minute and read comments and conversations from my friends. I haven’t had much time to read and there are still several comments in my inbox to be read but I really feel welcome and cheered by reading eveyones comments and writing. Thank you so much. I may have gone around the bend this last 3 weeks without the chance to read all the wonderful things here.

    • I’m delighted if we can brightened your day, Maggie. I know I speak for the other authors too when I say that encouraging comments like yours certainly brighten ours! Hope your work load lets up soon so you can get back to more important things, like reading novels. 😉

  11. Love it! Love It! Love It!!! I am so excited and cannot wait for the finished book!!!

    Thanks Shannon for the lovely excerpt!!

    ~ Liz

  12. I love Persuasion! It’s my favorite Austen book. I’m so glad you decided to do a story based on that novel. I remember you saying awhile back that you were going to attempt it. It sounds like it’s going to be great!

    • Yes, it’s going well, Sarah, although I have the most difficult part left to go, since I’ve now left the Persuasion story line behind and I’m out there on my own for the ending. Fingers crossed that I can pull it off!

  13. Persuasion is my favorite. I love your premise that this is Jane’s secret romance. I like that it sounds like a story within a story and it has me eager to get the end. I think I got where you are going with this and the title makes sense.

    Looking forward to the rest, Shannon.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Sophia. Glad the title makes sense. I had a different one in mind, which I loved the sound of. But it didn’t give the reader any clue of the premise.

  14. I think that the first person POV will engage the reader right from the start, especially those who know a little of JA’s life. The ‘ room of one’s own’ scene ought to engage anyone else out there who has ever had trouble with constant interruptions – no matter what their line of work. Since Persuasion is my favorite, I am eager to read your book!

  15. It is a very intersesting premise to show how JA infused herself and people she knew into her work. It seems that she had a relatively sheltered life, especially when she began writing at such a tender age, so it makes sense that people she knew would be some basis for her characters. I am certainly interested to know more about Captain Devereaux!

    I am familiar with Persuasion (though have only read it twice) and everything here made sense to me. I think it will appeal to people who haven’t read it.

    Good luck finishing it up!

  16. It is exceptional, Shannon. This is coming from someone who has read and love Persuasion as much as Pride and Prejudice. I want to meet this Captain Devereaux. Is he a French btw cos the name sounds French to me. Do continue writing the novel because I can’t wait to read the final product.

    • Yay! I’m so glad you liked chapter 1, and yes, Devereaux is French (the man and the name) – a bit of a problem, considering that the French and English had been at war for years, but you’ll get to read all about that later!

  17. Beautifully written Shannon! Persuasion is a favourite of mine and I look forward to reading this when you are done! I just read this past week ‘The Darcy’s of Pemberley’ and loved it. Looking forward to reading the next one too!

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  19. I loved what I just read and can hardly wait for the finished book. However, I want you to know that other than P&P, “Return to Longbourn” is one of my all-time favorites. Can’t get that wonderful love story out of my head! I have read it over and over. Will there be any more to it? Your writing talent is so appreciated!

  20. You’ve made my day, Nancy, to hear you love RTL so much! It’s always tricky to write a sequel to a happily-ever-after romance, though. At this point, I consider the series complete (P&P, The Darcys of Pemberley, and Return to Longbourn = a trilogy), but I would be open to revisiting the idea of adding on if inspiration strikes!

    PS – Have you read “For Myself Alone” yet?

  21. Thank you for enlarging the font size. There do seem to be a lot who say Persuasion is their favorite. I have the DVD with Ciaran Hinds as well 2 others and that version is the one I consider closest to the original story by JA. This story is already intriguing. How often will we see chapters? I am looking forward to “the rest of the story”. Very interesting start – pulling me in already.

    • The book is nearing completions, Sheila, and so I hope to have it available in its entirety this summer. Not sure I’ll post any more chapter here before that. I agree with you on your movie choice, btw!

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