Hallo and welcome!
I’m Sarah and I’m a writer. Chances are you’re an author too—most of us are, one way or another. We’re really good at structuring the story, working out what’s plausible for our characters, finding dialogue to fit.
When we watch a film and imagine a different ending: “There was plenty of room for Rose and Jack on that door, then they could have gone to New York together and….”
When we craft the day’s events into a dramatic narrative: “You’ll never guess what happened this morning! I was just walking back…”
When we replay an embarrassing scene: “I should have said, ‘No’, and then she would have….”
It’s just that it doesn’t always tip over into actually writing stuff down. So why am I doing it?
It started quite innocently. I read Lauren Willig’s The Seduction of the Crimson Rose. Its resolutely unsympathetic and unsentimental hero & heroine immediately invaded my mind for weeks. “What would happen,” I wondered, “if this deeply reserved pair had to talk to each other about something painful? In public. But someone sitting quietly minding her own business overheard them…”
And so Mrs Fortescue was born. That first story was so easy to write. I was completely unhampered by any sense of an overarching structure. If a neat line came into my head, I used it. Secondary characters floated in and out, because they were such damn fun to create. The story had a beginning, lots and lots of middle, and after a bit, when I couldn’t think of anything more to add, it ended.
A kind and patient editor pointed out some of the worse faults, but said nice things about my writing style (which I printed out and stuck to the wall beside my computer, because I live off affirmation). She also planted the seed for Mrs Fortescue’s Tiger. “I love Mrs Fortescue, but she needs more to do!”
Here you go, Mrs F. Lots and lots to do here.