Paula thinks about different kind of journeys.
At the moment, I am writing a scene in which my characters are making a long but necessary journey to the south west of Ireland in appalling weather conditions with torrential rain and gale force winds. I think I am as tense and exhausted as my heroine must be!
It’s made me think of other journeys my characters have taken, and I’ve realised they do tend to travel around quite a lot. In His Leading Lady Jess goes up to Scotland, in a private jet, no less; in Fragrance of Violets, Abbey eventually makes the decision to go to Paris to meet with Jack. In Changing the Future, Lisa and Paul both travel to New York (and have a luxury yacht cruise around Manhattan), and Paul later flies out to Iceland. In Dream of Paris, that city is the destination for both hero and heroine, and Her Only Option includes several cruises down the Nile and back again. My three Irish books also have the characters travelling to different parts of Ireland.
As well as the physical journeys, of course, there are also the other ‘journeys’ our characters make as we follow them through their stories. Some refer this as the character ‘arc’ but I prefer to think of it as the inner journey they make. I don’t think they necessarily need Scrooge-type ‘transformations’ when, by the end of the story, they have changed their whole outlook.
Instead, I prefer them to grow in their understanding of themselves and each other. Looking at my characters, I can see how one of my heroines develops more confidence in herself, another learns not to judge everyone by a bad experience in the past. One realises that it’s usually better to share a problem than go it alone, and another finds a way to open herself up to love again.
The end of the story doesn’t mean the end of their journey, only that they are more able to continue that journey of discovery because of what they have learned about themselves.