Sometimes I get future scenes stuck in my head in vivid detail for my creative writing projects.
For example, with Proving America, the novel-in-the-making I’m working on now, I already knew my main character would be scouring Washington, D.C., for his younger sister during the British invasion on August 24, 1814.
With government buildings already turned into raging infernos, Ashley would locate Molly and immediately start pulling her back through the city, staying in what shadows they could and ducking down side streets to avoid the enemy soldiers tramping everywhere.
But in also trying to avoid the flames, they’d turn down an avenue – and find themselves face to face with the real-life British Major General Robert Ross, head of the invasive expedition.
(Fortunately for Ashley and Molly, Ross was a really upstanding guy, so no little sisters were to be harmed in the construction of this scene.)
Well, I just wrote that scene the other night. Stayed up until two in the morning, in fact, feverishly typing it out. And yes, it was just as thrilling as I knew it would be.
But it was also completely different.
Like COMPLETELY different.
The only details that really stayed the same were the character elements involved. In other words, it still centered around Ashley, Molly and Ross.
Everything else though…? The burning buildings? The ducking down darkened alleys? The British soldiers tromping up every other street?
Yeah… Not so much.
How did I manage that while still keeping it utterly riveting?
Don’t ask me. But somehow, someway, it’s still an action-packed, pulse-racing, oh-my-gosh-what’s-going-to-happen-next! kind of scene.
And I wouldn’t have Proving America any other way.