There is an ongoing joke that many writers touch on, the whole being-asked-where-you-get-your-ideas bit. And often the answer is as ephemeral as the creative process itself: “I just sort of came to me” or something of that ilk. For example, I couldn’t tell you where I got the idea for St. Peter in Chains. I can’t remember whether the chicken or egg came first there. But for some of my stories and scripts, I do remember what spawned them.
In this post I’ll tell you were I got the idea of my “Society of Martlets” script (well, and it was a story first). A couple things happened, and maybe synchronicity is a writer’s friend. In this instance I was reading a book about Queen Isabella and Edward II, and about the accusations that Edward was homosexual. That became a starting point for my story, and originally I was going to have the fianceé be in on the murder plot. But then I read about how Isabella’s father, Philip IV of France, persecuted the Knights Templar and the story took another turn. At the same time, I had noticed my family coat of arms (I mean, obviously I’d seen it before but now I really stopped to look) and the martlets featured on it . . . And I thought martlets were kind of cool, and it was also just a cool word, “martlet,” so . . . Those elements resolved themselves into the story.
In future posts I might tell how I came up with 20 August and The K-Pro. While neither had quite such concrete beginnings as “Martlets,” I can trace parts of their origins. Funny how one constructs things from bits and pieces . . .