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!