How A Story Is Born

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 , greeting, Longhand Readers!

ever wondered how an author , or, other authors, if you are one, finds story ideas?

Here are some anecdotes about how I came up with the stories for my novel

After I finished writing The Draughtsman Damsel, I had recurring “visions” of a young, ginger squire-come-knight, who was proposing marriage to a young, beautiful lady, and she was his lord’s daughter. He tells her that he’s now suitable for her, as he reluctantly accepted his inheritance of a lordship that was his brother’s.

The I started thinking… how did he get there? Why does he see himself as unworthy? I kept seeing him as a precocious, clever, impetuous ginger lad. Fists clenched, eyes sparkling. Was he bastard born? Yes, but he wasn’t supposed to be. I saw his young mother, great with child and awaiting her lord’s return, perhaps he would wed her then.

I saw his father, weeping and guilt ridden, over the mother’s sick bed, wed to another, by his own fault.

I saw my lad, John, as a too clever, almost devilishly clever boy who scares his surrounding adults with his uncanny insights, but also a tenderhearted lad, who tends animals. I saw him being sent away as punishment, but thriving instead. That’s how A Good Knight’s Kiss was born.

I then had another idea. A young lady is betrothed to a lord her father detests, for politics’ sake. She is groomed for him. Her father’s knight and counselor   has an unhealthy attachment to her, when she is yet a young lass. She thinks herself hopelessly plain, and begins to anticipate her wedding day.

I saw her betrothed, really not such a bad man, forced to wed a young girl he knows not, but rebels and marries his pregnant, beloved mistress.

I saw her arriving to be wed to the lord, unaware that he’s no longer a single man. I saw him moved by her uncanny beauty, though his wife now lay dying, and offering to be her guardian instead.

I saw  her deliberating between three marriage offers, one being her father’s former knight, one being her new guardian, one… one was the dead lady’s brother, whom her lord guardian detests and wishes to save her from him. Why?

I saw a siege, and her marriage to one of the three as a means to lift it and save everyone. I saw it happening in the time of King John and Magna Carta.

That’s how Her Father’s Promise was born.

What now? Thought I. A few readers who had read The Draughtsman Damsel told me that they were enamoured of one of its side characters, Scotsman Robert McMillan. “Give him his own book.” They pleaded. What’s an author to do? I envisioned him heartbroken, having lost Annabelle’s heart. I imagined him fleeing the King’s decree to wed. his betrothed I imagined as a too beautiful highland laird’s daughter. I imagined them meeting eachother in the greenwood, unaware of the fact that they are each other’s intended. I imagined the elves interfering. Thus, Greenwood Side was born (yet to be published).

Finally I imagined a lady fleeing an unfaithful fiancée, and a sordid past, to hide as a governess, and falling, reluctantly, with her master, in regency times. I imagined him a recluse, fleeing, himself, guilt and shame. He was arrogant, and unwillingly celibate. She is sworn to abstinence, and unknowingly , arrogant as well. Thus , Arrogance and Abstinence was born (Self Published on Kindle.)

I’m currently working on Reynardine Redeemed, another sequel to the Draughtsman Damsel, featuring the Rakish Guillaume du Lac, as the fabled Reynardine, a werefox from balladry.

how about you, longhald readers? how do you come up with story ideas? tell me all about it.

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