Friday, October 15, 2010

Plotting murder

When I go on Blog Book Tours to promote my books, blog hosts often like to ask how I get my inspiration.

As a rather new author, I often shy away from giving out tips. But now that I've three books under my belt and another one coming soon, I think I can share a bit of my writing journey here.

About plot bunnies, they are strange creature. They come and go quite suddenly. And some of them work like magic. Once I get hold of an idea, I can turn it into a story very quickly. But some other bunnies, they lead me round and round for quite some times. A few of them have been sitting in the hard drive of my netbook for over two years now.

Just take for an example, the idea of Apollo's Stone in My Darcy Mutates...came to me when I was researching about Hertfordshire. Wikipedia has an entry about the county where a major part of Pride and Prejudice was set in.

I clicked through the links here and there and came across a story that an assassination plot was to be carried out on one of the Kings in Hertfordshire. The assassins were supposed to block the King's carriage near a church and ambush him there.

I immediately thought of a similar plot to delay Mr. Darcy's carriage.

Since I don't like to write about murder that much so I changed it into a blackmail plot. Wickham delayed old Mr. George Darcy's carriage at the church, while the scoundrel tried to put young Fitzwilliam Darcy in a compromising situation with a lady. But a mistake occurred in Wickham's scheme and made young Darcy meet Elizaebth Bennet.

That's how the short story Apollo's Stone came about. It was written within the hours, from research, plot to first draft.

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