So the title Impromptu was the first thing I figured out this time. Funny right? I didn’t have a story or characters. I see that question raised on SM sometimes. What do you come up with first or have you ever written a story around a title? And until now the answer was no.
All I knew was that I wanted the story to reflect an Impromptu. For my non piano playing folks Impromptus were made most famous by Chopin but almost all of the greats wrote at least one or two. They were/are meant to be lighthearted, a bit sporadic, melodious beauties.
To me that’s what a good Regency is. Fun, beach read, tuck away your worries and indulge in some over the top extra, reading. My titles are often a reflection of a song that resonates with the tone of the story I’m writing. And so because of that often many of my titles are also parts of songs or song titles.
The first 3-4 passes that was exactly the sort of story I had – a piqué style, fun staccato. But I hadn’t developed much of a story and about halfway through I lost myself as a reader which meant I probably lost a real reader about 1/4 of the way through. Trying to be lighthearted and cryptically droll, I had left out too much and basically created a confusing mess. It’s true what they say if you’re not entertained no one else will be either.
I did a post awhile ago posting the original beginning of my story and the current beginning. It was a challenge for any reader to tell me which one was the original beginning. I must have stumped everyone because I got no replies. 😁 Anyway, you can read the two beginnings here. And if you’re curious the original beginning to my story was entry #1.
As you can see from the two entries there is a decided tone change. I really wanted to write something airy like the madame Descouteaux scene. As I developed my ideas that original beginning no longer fit. The truth was the opening I needed was more like the 2nd opening. When I first started writing, the death of the heroine’s father was important but more as a tool for her mother’s evil. As I continued to write I realized I couldn’t introduce something so trite as the evil mom (or step mom) without giving it some real weight or it would become eye rolling cliché. I had to go back and rework the beginning.
Both scenes are in the book though the meeting with madame happens at the beginning of Part II. They’ve both been edited and I’m glad things worked out this way. I have much of the original lighthearted content woven between some of the more serious/darker themes. It helps break up some of the sinister of the mother’s intent.
So in rewrites I had to dig deeper add a couple layers of clothing to my idea and strip away some of the gauzy lightness I wanted to create a well formed idea. That was a bummer. I may try again to write something 100% light hearted. This maybe never be something I can accomplish but I know how you grow as an author is continuing to attack things that don’t come naturally to your craft.
Chopin’s most famous. I like the sparkle piano, but then it doesn’t take much to entertain me.
Here’s my favorite one:
Does this one ever get old? (not an impromptu)