The Bare Bones of a story often arrive unheralded and at an inconvenient moment. Having a notebook to hand might be the ideal, but it ain’t always possible. So how do I hold that thought?
An image helps. The lovely lady above was photographed in an Eastern museum. She hasn’t inspired anything yet, but I have the distinct feeling she will and I’m so glad to have her image readily to hand.
Once the bare bones are lodged in your head the question of what next arises. How do you add flesh or covering, cosy curves or flamboyant frocks without losing the initial inspiration?
It was a process I found quite stressful in learning the art of novel writing. Starting out with plays means your head makes allowance in the writing for what the director and actor will bring to any character. Description is hardly needed and as to Stage Directions…Unless you’re the ghost of JM Barrie, forget it. The director certainly will.
Clothing the story and the characters is a lovely creative process. I saw a gentleman through the bus window this morning. Tall, his own hair, smartly dressed – but wait – sporting a bow-tie? Who wears a bow-tie?
And I was off – running. So look out for a story with a dandy, unreliable and petulant, in a bow-tie.
Daisy’s Dilemma contains a few scenes about clothes and clothing. Appearances were so important in the fashionable world – nothing changes, does it – that Tobias instantly sees the problem faced by his young cousin, Elspeth when Daisy brings it to him. She will never attract a suitable husband if she is only the bare bones of a lady. Daisy, however, can be relied upon to have a plan.