As Christmas nears so does a time of being together, enjoying jokes, glowing fires and christmas tipples.
Unfortunately thanks to the snow (which I am still loving) me and my husband’s flights to America have been cancelled and rebooked so it seem we shall not be spending Christmas with the in-laws in Boston.
The one plus to this (along with the many negatives) is the fact that I have been at my parents home and been able to do some writing. Letty is officially finished as far as I can complete it anyway. I completed the second revision today and felt a slight weight off my shoulders and also a joy as I embark upon my next story.
As I described to my friend who is almost, I think, my temper when it comes to all thinks historical and accurate, my next story is going to be a ‘Rollicking Regency Romance.’ I feel this difference to Letty as almost a growth in my author shoes, stretching out into a slightly different genre. Letty was a very reflective and sometimes emotionally intense novel and I feel that although I wish to portray the same emotional intensity in this next story I also wish to create a lighter feeling and more of a comic edge to be enjoyed.
My main character is different to Letty in the fact she is far more outspoken and thanks to her previous relationship with the hero she is on more than familiar terms with him. Here is a small snippet to give you an idea:
‘ “My dear Miss. Rotherham, might I have this dance?” Lucius’ voice sounded monotone even to his own ears. He bowed low before the lady, trying to gain her hand to kiss but failing.
“No!” She pulled her hand away further; now it was totally out of reach, “Please stop being so ridiculous.” And promptly turned to top up her punch. Perhaps she should have stopped at her fourth glass but it was so fortifying for situations such as these.
“I am not being ridiculous!” He protested chuckling smoothly and allowing his lazy eyes to bestow upon her a condescending look. He was beneath his perfectly preserved surface a tad ruffled however, perhaps by gones were not quite by gones, “I simply wish to dance with you.” He tried to recover a little ground.
“No, now do not lie to me my Lord, you have clearly succumbed to propriety’s demand for you to partner me.”
“Very well, you see through my manners. We have not spoken for these three years, may I at least procure from you a little conversation?” He was flogging a dead horse.
“Must you?” Her voice was taking on an irritated tone.
“Well…” Now she was simply being rude. He saw how it was; her mood had changed so drastically from a moment ago thanks to a lack of parental supervision. Perhaps if he charmed her, “I simply wish to converse with a beautiful woman.”
“Sir,” She turned to face him, and suddenly she was no longer the schoolgirl he had seen when last they met, “Do me both the courtesy and the honor to cease the flattery you are smothering upon me. I am no beauty, even in my bloom I was not as well you will remember. Nor have I ever claimed your friendship. Enjoy the ball, there are plenty of pretty faces for you to admire and maybe even converse with.” She let the corner of her mouth pull upwards in a kind of satisfied smile, but her eyes did not see the joke. ‘
Hopefully you can see that she is automtically a strong heroine though this is not always a good thing during her story. In fact despite her confidence she was once a shy youth but has grown into this personality after having her heart broken by Lucius previously.
This reminds me of a tip I have for plotting a story. When you are going through the arduous task of taking a firey idea in your head and forming it into a complex plot line involving various characters, their relationships and the events which then form their lives, it can be very hard.
My Christmas tip for that (yes that’s right, despite the fact the tip is not christmassy it is near christmas and any excuse eh?) is to create a play list on whatever music software you have or even just make a mixed tape/CD of the music that inspires you and helps you to get excited about what you’re going to write.
For instance I was writing a set of short stories set on a ranch in Tennessee and I listened to Country music loads because that’s what got me in the right mood to write (And plus I learned a lot about the West from the music!).
So top tip for Christmas holiday writing – a playlist of you story.
And also just an after thought, seeing as it is regularly snowing at the moment there is no better time to write that winter or snowy scene that you’ve got coming up in your story. Even if you don’t write out the whole scene with the dialogue etc, when you have the weather and countryside right in front of you – describe it there and then – write it down, because you will not feel the same way you do about the bitter cold and the pure whiteness of the snow and the dormant landscape as you do when you are walking through it or looking at the snow falling through you kitchen window.