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EVERYWHERE is a good place to brainstorm a story!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I’ve told the story in workshops and writers’ groups before, but I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it here.

When I was first working on the germ of the idea for what would become the Ransome Trilogy, I wasn’t sure exactly where the story was going, who would be involved, or even how long the story would be.

Back in May 2005, most of my extended family were in Baton Rouge for a family wedding. We’d all gone up to the Saturday Night “Southern Gospel Service” at my grandmother’s church for supper and to hear one of my cousins and his wife sing, along with my aunt who was part of the group who sang every week.

After dinner (on long banquet tables covered with butcher paper), they lowered the lights and the music started. Now, anyone who knows me knows I love music. So it’s not that I wasn’t enjoying myself. But, being a visual person, I start to get restless when just sitting and listening to music (even when I can see the people singing). I’d already written the first chapter of Ransome’s Honor (most of it has since been cut) for a workshop at grad school the next month. So I’d been playing with the story idea for a while.

At that point, I had two conflicting ideas running through my head of how to (a) get William and Julia together and (b) get Julia back to Jamaica and away from her scheming relatives. The first idea was to have her stow away on William’s ship disguised as a boy; the second was to have her propose a “marriage in name only” which could later be annulled if he wanted. If you’ve read Ransome’s Honor and Ransome’s Crossing, you know how I ended up using both of those scenarios.

Because I’m a writer, I always carry at least one writing utensil with me. And there I was, sitting at a table with a HUGE expanse of blank paper in front of me. So I started jotting down notes. It started with an A/B list—Stow Away on one side, Marriage of Convenience on the other. And it just grew from there.

Well, in the past nine years, I thought maybe I’d lost it or accidentally thrown it away. But tonight, in digging through my files for something else, I found it. So here it is in all its glory!

Ransome Brainstorming

  1. Mom permalink
    Tuesday, July 15, 2014 7:58 pm

    It was so amazing to watch you do that! I’m glad I was there to see it.


  2. Saturday, September 6, 2014 5:38 pm

    That’s awesome! You have really nice handwriting too … =) Am I reading it correctly that Ned was going to be something of a ladies man? Thanks for sharing.



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