In the last yea while, I’ve been rather distracted from my normal pursuits and found writing pushed lower than usual on my priority pile. Life happens.
What also happened was that my heroine packed up her bundle, slipped out the back door and followed a twisty path over the hill to parts unknown. At first I didn’t notice. When I did, I pouted a bit, sulked for a while and then shrugged in acceptance. After all, I thought, I’m a plotter not a pantser so when the chance does pop up to write, I’ll plan each scene and just write it. That assumption was a slippery slope to a thorough ducking in the village pond.
My medieval heroine starts her journey in a prosperous provincial French city. I know the streets she walks to go to church, to market and to celebrate holidays and harvests. I know how she earns her living, what skills she has and what artisans and trades are prominent in her city. I know the rich merchant houses she passes and the work-a-day world of the craftsmen and women around her. And it’s all as flat as pitta bread.
The yeast of her presence is missing. Street scenes feel like old postcards in an album. I’m not walking those streets at her shoulder, experiencing what she is seeing, touching and smelling. I don’t feel her awe at soaring church splendours or her excitement at the beauty of silks, brocades and exotic fashion. I can’t capture her dream as it unfolds not can I follow her gradual realization of what the hero really means to her. I can’t write her story when she’s not here with me. But I’ve started smiling again. I got a pigeon post the other day.
“I’ve missed you. I’m on my way home now.”