Saturday, 31 July 2010

Many thanks to Donna for this blogfest! To see other entrants visit Donna's website

Donnna's Milestone blogfest drew my attention, and of course prompt signing-up. All sorts of ideas leapt to the fore but none seeming to fit the criteria of a milestone of any significance. At least, not one that I could write about with deep insight and knowledge other than that of psychology or horses.  So, this is definitely an account of a personal milestone and how I set out to reach it, then sat upon it in fog of despair until the right characters finally came my way!

For so long this elusive milestone kept appearing much like a mirage in a desert, and although I knew it existed I could not yet see it for real. I never gave up hope of setting off along a road that would bring me to that milestone!

On my journey it occurred to me how others' milestones have helped numerous novelists' throughout history. After all, historians owe much to the first diarists', and I guess my personal quest to reach a particular Milestone in my writing is dedicated to one diarist and a painting, which will come later! But before galloping off to my milestone, let's applaud the Ancient Chinese and Egyptian scribes who revealed snippets of life and social structure throughout various ruling dynasties from around 2000 B.C.

Plato too, the Greek philosopher (real name Aristocles) who gave insight to life in his time: believed to have been born around 427 B.C.

And later, Samuel Pepys' Diaries (1660 he began recording times and events in London) and few people around the globe are not unfamilar with his writings: the great fire of London.

However, a man before his time Richard Symonds (Diary of the Marches and Royal Army during the English Civil War) is less known beyond the shores of the British Isles. Which does beg the question: why did Pepys' Diaries become famed and Symonds' not? Well that's another story entirely!

Whatever the reason behind Symonds' lesser recognition as a diarist, is of little consequence but he did provide a few vital dates and times regarding movement of Royalist troops. My abiding passion for history since childhood - in particular the Period of English Civil War - always such that I swore I would one day write a romantic novel set within that time period of history.

Unlike most romantic writers who create characters and then plot and plan out a sequence of events to take those characters on a journey of love and strife and eventual happiness, I am perhaps a strange individual who allows characters from another dimension to walk into my life. Sometimes a house, sometimes places (woodland/river walk/castle) the catalyst to their presence!

I cannot simply conjur characters sit and then write without previous inspiration and, inspiration sorely failed for years in providing the wherewithall for reaching that damned elusive "milestone".

Then, one day I spied a wonderful painting depicting Parliamentarian trooper and a Cavalier officer in close-combat on horseback. Something about the two men stirred my interest and my imagination and the image lodged in the subconscious. The subconscious then played devil's advocate with the conscious mind and produced a dreamlike movie overnight. The two people in the painting had effectively revealed who they were and why I'd thought them related yet engaged in mortal combat. That dream then became a novel.

I'd finally reached that damned illusive milestone with "The Lord, The Lady, And Her Scandalous Seduction!" - presently in the hands of a publisher. And, I think it will not be the last of such projects and probably just the first in a line of sequential novels. Hence, peripheral character from that same period setting has already revealed his and that of his lady love's story by way of dream movie!

So trumpet blown!!!!!!!! Fingers crossed publisher bites, but if not at least I've reached that milestone and it means more to me than accolade of seeing it in print! I'm well-chuffed!

I will be posting a scene from this novel for the High Drama Blogfest!


Donna Hole said...

(applauds for a really long, long time)

That was excellent. Wow, what a long journey for the right inspiration. But my did it ever work out. I enjoyed reading about the diarists also. That was educational. I love learning new things.

I can't wait for next week, to read some of your novel for DL's blogfest.

Thank you so much for participating Francine. This was a truly enjoyable read. :)


L'Aussie Denise said...

Well Francine you know from your enthusiastic reading of my stories that I am sentimental. Well, this really got me *cries softly*. I love the historical references to your journey. I love history full stop. Be waiting with bated breath for DL's blogfest, which I missed hearing about. How did that happen? Looking forward to hearing of your publication!

stu said...

This is a nice insight into your process.

Justin W. Parente said...

I'm not sure I could live up to anything of this magnitude, but I like to think my own motivation and milestone is still out there like a mirage. It slowly becomes more solid with partial requests. That's all we can really ask for as unpublished novelists. A wonderful snippet into the dream and how you set about to conquer it.

Tessa Conte said...

Congratulations on your milestone! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us (I, for one, have never heard of either diary), this was a fascinating read!

Dawn Embers said...

That is an awesome milestone, and story leading up to it. Congratulations!

I love dream movies that show stories, that's pretty much how I plot/outline. Forget the paper, I watch my characters develop and tell me their stories in my head.

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Francine, what a lovely post! Thank you so much for sharing your process. What a beautiful example of having our heart's desire come true. Your psyche/subconscious took that desire and delivered it. It figured out a way for you to tell these stories across the backdrop of the time you love most. What a blessing!

I'm adding my conscious intent for your manuscript to be published to all the rest out there!

P.S. It's also good to find another whose writing works this way. You told my story. Mine comes in meditation, driving in the car and dreams.

~that rebel, Olivia

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Congratulations on your milestone ... and having your manuscript in the hands of a publisher. I didn't realize how my little blog adventure with the Cardinal's Guardsmen echoed your excellent book.

I pray that your dreams find fruition and success. Roland

February Grace said...

Whoa, what a damned impressive post! Can I swear here? sorry, I just did I couldn't help it! Damn!

Plato wrote under a pen name? ROFLMAO. Who knew? I love it.

Hey, I have 'dream movies' too! Glad to know I'm not alone. I couldn't tell you all the things I loved about this post, I'd have to quote every line back.

Thank you so much for writing it- this is such a fantastic blogfest. Glad to have found your blog because of it!


Francine said...

Hi Donna, L'Aussie, Stu, Justin,

Thanks for dropping by and I must say I've enjoyed participating in this blogfest. Good company abounds!

Francine said...

Hi, Tessa, Dawn, Olivia,

Again fellow writers I am proud to have met, and have to say I've enjoyed participating in the blogfest with all of you. Looking forward to Dawn's WordPaint fest as well.

Francine said...

Hi Roland, February Grace,

It's amazing how open writers' are in expressing their hopes and fears within their writing, and how some feel able to open the hearts to fellow writers and reveal aspects otherwise hidden from view.

JC Martin @ Fighter Writer said...

It's amazing how inspiration could come from the most unlikely of places! I look forward to reading a snippet of your novel!

Francine said...

Hi JC,

Thanks for dropping by, and let's hope my bragging lives up to scrutiny! ;)