My last idea came from the daily writing I’ve been doing and some musical inspiration. As I was writing about nothing and complaining about being bored, I was also listening to music. One of the songs that came on was Loreena McKennitt’s stunning musical rendition of Alfred Noyes’ poem, “The Highwayman.” As I was listening to the song, I thought that it would make a really great story, but that it starts and ends too fast. I started asking what if questions. What if the “highwayman” was really a woman in disguise? What if one of the soldiers raped Bess? What if her long-distant descendant decided to become a literature specialist on Tennyson and went to England for a sabbatical? What if her blood link to Bess and to the soldier activated the ghosts of the “highwayman” and the soldier, still caught in their old enmity? What if there was a man back home who didn’t really understand her fascination with British literature? What if she met a new man in England? Would the “highwayman” get jealous? Would the soldier want to hone her into his image?
I’m not sure where, if anywhere I will go with all these questions, but the mix of the ghost story with potential feminist themes, as well as the age-old argument about heroic thieves, corrupt police, and the common people stuck in between makes this an idea I’m sure I’ll return to.
That said, I have priorities. I will finish a revision this year. So, the Highwayman Story will have to wait. What I’ve learned, though, is that story ideas are there for me when I’m ready.
Today’s post was inspired by the topic Where I Got My Latest Idea, in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour! Up next: Cleo Lomax at Muse Inked.
Thank you to the anonymous poster who pointed out an error on this page. I’d mistakenly given Tennyson the credit for the poem.