Monday, March 27, 2006

Eureka! moments

Last time I blogged, I was talking about how I write, starting with little more than a sketchy idea of my plot and often getting totally stuck, because I can’t see my way across a plot hole.

Well, it’s happened again. And the solution happened in the usual way, too, I’m glad to say.

Last week, I spent 5 days at West Dean College near Chichester, which is an amazing centre for all sorts of courses, from blacksmithing to calligraphy. On this occasion, I wasn’t actually doing a course. My husband was on a course there and I went along too, knowing that there would be much less scope there for displacement activity than there is at home. I was determined to write, to walk, and to do some photography. I would avoid all TV, internet, and emails, as well as having cooking and cleaning done for me. Bliss!

I discovered that I could really make inroads into the wip by focusing on it while I was out walking. I even did some dictation -- rather breathlessly I must admit -- as I climbed the hills in West Dean’s beautiful grounds. I was making great progress, at about 2000 words a day, when I got to the plot hole. I needed the heroine to confide in the hero about her rather nasty predicament but I couldn’t think of any plausible reason why she should. She didn’t know him very well, and he wasn’t a relative, obviously, so why on earth would any properly brought-up young lady share her secrets with him?

I spent a long time worrying away at her motivation and getting nowhere. So I gave up and wrote a different scene.

Then, the following day, I was out climbing the hills again and the answer came to me, in one of those Eureka! moments, as soon as I thought about the problem. My subconscious had clearly been on the case, so to speak.

My heroine now has a perfectly good reason for confiding in the hero, even though it is exactly what a proper young lady should NOT do. What is the reason? Ah, there I’m not telling. Too much of a plot spoiler, I think. You’ll be able to find out when the book eventually comes out, some time in 2007, I hope. It’s called Bride of the Solway and is the sequel to My Lady Angel.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the term "plot hole"! I live on the Pennines and find that walking is one of the best ways to sort out the twists and turns of a plot. I always know where I want to end up (plot-wise, that is) but sometimes I have no idea how to get there. I think the physical exertion of walking frees up the mind and allows it to carry out a bit of lateral thinking.