What if... How do stories get started ?
My stories always begin with characters and their personal goals and motivations. The conflicts those goals encounter are molded by their circumstances, actual historical events that might impact them, and the deeper needs that so often interfere with what they think they want.
The Wolverton World came from one of those what if moments when I wondered what would happen if a widower brought his three very different daughters to London for the Season. . . and what if one was a bluestocking, one was a leap-first-think-later rescuer, and the third alarmingly intuitive . . . oh, and what if one of the girls’ suitors had a widowed mother who . . . ?
The original stories shifted and changed as I explored the premise and characters. The bluestocking became Elizabeth, the eldest and a woodworker. Charlotte remained a rescuer and, in her opinion, the least interesting of her sisters. Sarah became younger but no less intuitive. Their father remained in the background, not to emerge until Elizabeth’s story. . . a factor driven by the order in which to tell their stories. Though I’d originally assumed I would write their stories in birth order, I soon realized that I needed to begin with Charlotte. Elizabeth needed more than a Season to find her HEA since she was not the usual debutant. Hers is the third story in the series.
Then there was the hero to consider. All well and good to make him an upstanding man who would find Charlotte’s impulsiveness unsuitable, but why would a man of such high rank be concerned with what others thought? What if he had been embarrassed and hurt by something in his past and that made him determined to spare his younger sisters of any other humiliation? What would do that?
I settled on an unknown illegitimate half-brother, Tristan, brought into the home and treated as an equal in a time when to do so was unheard of. Tristan is the main character of the second book in the series.
So now you know how the current stories evolved. Lucien has two younger sisters, and Anne will tell her story one day… Oh, and the woman in peril? I am exploring what happened to her, as well.
And then, what if there was a house party where . . . ?