In mid-October, once I’d completed that one, I turned my attention back to ‘Different Worlds’, but if you remember my post last week, again I got to the stage where I felt it wasn’t working. Someone read it (as least as far as Chapter 10) and says she loves it, which has given me a little more confidence. But after adding only 25 words one evening, and only about 100 the next, I decided I needed another break from it.
But what to do now? My mind went back to an article I’d seen recently about an apartment in Paris which had been unlived in and untouched for over 70 years. The lady who owned it had fled to the south of France on the outbreak of war in 1939, and had never returned. When she died, the apartment was discovered exactly as it had been left, and there was also a link to her grandmother and a 19th century artist.
The story stuck in my mind, so last weekend I thought more about it, and the inevitable ‘What if?’ cogs started to turn. As a result, I started to compile a ‘family tree’ linking the grandmother to a 25 year old in 2012. Working out all the dates of the different generations, and also what happened when and why, was complicated, to say the least!
I was still thinking of having the setting in Paris, but then realised my recently accepted novel has a Paris setting, so I thought it better to have a change from that. How about the Lake District? No, I’ve already set two novels there (plus the one that isn’t working). Where else then?
The answer came easily. Ireland, of course, since I’ve been there so many times during the past few years. Now I had to adapt the family tree, and invent a different kind of backstory, because of course there was no need for the family to flee at the outbreak of war, as Ireland was neutral. The whole thing became somewhat complex, as it also involved the hero’s family history too.
On Saturday evening, I wrote over a thousand words (more than I’d added to my other story in more than a week!), then changed the setting from Paris to Ireland, and I’d finished the first chapter (just over 3,000 words) by yesterday evening.
The ‘other’ story is still turning over at the back of my mind, but for the moment I’m feeling considerably less ‘unstuck’ than I was at this time last week!