I readily admit that I rely on inspiration when I'm writing my stories. It's not 100%, sometimes I do have a basic premise in mind. But it's those times that my characters like best to throw me for a loop.
Take this scene from The Baron's Cufflinks:
By the time the library closed, I decided I needed a totally different approach. I found no mention of Annabelle in the newspaper's archives, but the address of her office was prominently displayed on her social media page. If she showed up for work in the morning, I'd follow her around. I was willing to bet she went to the same place for lunch every day, and maybe the same spot after work. I'd make a follow-up trip to those same places after she left and talk to the employees.
Still mapping out my plans for the morning—where would I park? Did I need to buy a pair of binoculars first?—I pulled into the parking lot of the bar I'd chosen for a drink. Just one, to get the lay of the land. It looked like the kind of place where cheaters would go. A little on the trashy side, but not taken over by meth-heads. A place where a private eye might hang out to catch a straying spouse in the act.
And there, holding court at the bar, was the last person I expected to see.
If you've read the Oak Grove Mysteries, you know Jake has had a major influence in Harmony's (the main character) life, for bad or for good. He was featured prominently in the second book, Her Ladyship's Ring. So most of you probably weren't surprised when he showed up in this scene.
But I was. See, I was trying to write Jake out of this book, and maybe out of Harmony's life. I'd sent him off to Chicago at the beginning of the book. So what was he doing in West Virginia? (I"m not going to answer that question. You'll have to read the book to find out, if you don't already know.) Someone totally different was supposed to be at that bar. Until I got to the moment of Harmony seeing Jake, I thought it would be that other person.
That scene changed the entire course of the book. Instead of being written out, Jake practically took over the story. I didn't plan for it to happen. Yet I know the book turned out better for the change.
For those of you who have read the series, would you be upset if I wrote Jake out of the next book? (Or tried to, anyway.) Let me know in the comments.
Now let's head over and find out about when inspiration struck the other authors.
Feb. 19, 2018 - Tell us a story about a time when a piece of inspiration hit you. We’ve all had them.
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