Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Inspiration is Where You Find It

Much to my surprise, I find that I’m working on another Regency-set story. It’s made for a somewhat confusing existence—I’m still working on my WWI story as well, and working on two very different stories set in two very different eras means my writing room is even more ridiculously cluttered with piles of open reference books and scraps of paper scrawled with notes than usual. I also got attacked by a science fiction romance story idea earlier this summer, but we’re not even going to go there just now...

Part of the reason I think this new story grabbed me so hard—I’d actually been toying with it in a desultory fashion for a couple of years—is a couple of purchases I made on-line. Just for fun, I periodically do an eBay search on portrait miniatures—those exquisite little portraits so popular in the early nineteenth century before the invention of photography. Now, to be honest, a lot of the ones I’ve seen are just...well, homely—not to mention completely out of my price range.

But on that day, I found one that set me reeling, because I knew that face—it was the hero of my Regency story. Moreover, it was ridiculously affordable...so you’d better believe I snapped it up! The ruler is there for scale; isn’t it exquisite?

Well, that just whet my appetite. And literally just days later, when looking again, I found another one—also affordable, also exquisite...and there was my heroine, Annabel:

And after that, the floodgate opened. Annabel and Quin, now real people (you know what I mean!) would not leave me alone, and the vague wisps of story and character I had began to firm up into real characters and a real plot. I’m not very far—this is going to be a BIG story with a lot of characters and various goings-on. But having these likenesses of people who actually lived in the early 19th century...well, I’m hooked on writing it.

But trying to live in both 1810 AND 1917 is still a pain in the you-know-what.


Lynn Lovegreen said...

That is so awesome, Marissa! Enjoy your miniatures!

QNPoohBear said...

How exciting to find a physical manifestation of your characters. I can't wait to hear more about the story. Don't ignore the voices in your head! My little nieces are the best storytellers. They're teaching me a lot about storytelling.

Marissa Doyle said...

Thank you, ladies! And yes, QNPoohBear, a writer ignores those voices at her own peril.