So one of the things that the Girls sent up that’s been bugging me is Vikings.
I mean, why the hell Vikings?
I remember starting with the title, Surprise Lily, and then thinking she’d pop up in different centuries like a surprise lily, mainly because I couldn’t think of any other way she’d just pop up out of nowhere. If I was going supernatural, she could time jump or walk through walls or something, but I wanted something simple and fun. This is not a book. Let’s not make playtime difficult, Crusie.
So her problem is reincarnation, but not a bunch of different time periods, and I just started riffing in that first scene. I distinctly remember thinking twelve lives and that put her back into the 800s and made me think of Pangur Ban (the poem) and that’s how Vikings came into the mix, but I don’t know how the hell they became a motif except that Lily announced they were in that first scene (“I always get the early Viking,” a line that will probably be cut).
Normally, at this point, I’d just cut the Vikings altogether, but there’s no way, they’re part of the fabric of the thing now, the Girls keep sending up more Viking stuff, I am stuck on Vikings . . . time to research.
I’ve already figured out that Lily’s memories of the 800s might just be her research knowledge kicking in from remembering information she’s read, the way old photographs trigger memories we’d lost and sometimes create memories we don’t have. I don’t know if Lily was really reincarnated or not. I’m not sure it matters. What I do know is that I don’t know enough about Vikings. I learned they bathed a lot on here from some of you. And they wore cat fur, which is somehow not the worst thing I know about them. Bastards.
The thing about research is that it’s there to support the story. We do not go down the rabbit hole of writing about Vikings, this story is not about Vikings, it’s about Lily, so what we need is what Lily knows about Vikings and how that info is impacting her life in the now of the story. One way, of course, is whatever nefariousness Seb and Uncle Louis are up to at the museum. That has to be tied to Vikings. Except they are not Vikings, they’re Celts. The Celts regularly got their asses kicked by the Vikings, I believe. Enter Fin and Bjorn.
But it’s not about them
their book, it’s about Lily ‘s
. Fin sees her as a Viking, at least a Viking waitress, so that might be a path to follow. And there’s definitely the Five Man Band which could be a Viking band, possibly matched by Seb, Uncle Louis, Jessica, Dorothy, and a player to be named later. And I need at least three characters who are regulars at the diner so we have more suspects to play with. Arthur is a start there.
The problem is, I am not interested in this. I’d rather just watch my diner Five Man Band goof around. The only reason I need the museum is to focus that group. So the key is to keep it simple and keep the focus on the diner. I can do that. I think.
So what I think I need now (very close to a “should,” damn it) is to get the Museum Gang in motion. There’s that Secret Societies magazine I bought, and I am contemplating a Dorothy PoV. I had such fun with Clea and Xan’s PoVs and I think Dorothy could be a nefarious amount of fun. I think she keeps a stuffed dog on her desk and calls it Toto. Chekhov’s Toto. There’s something in that dog . . .
So what do you want/need/expect now? The thing about having so much text is that it lets out a lot of possibilities. There’s a theory that your first sentence eliminates 90% (99%?) of your plot possibilities, so you can imagine what 20,000 words does to that. We’re narrowing things considerably here. If you want any sharp turns, now is the time to ask for them. No, Lily cannot end up with Bjorn, some things are not negotiable. It’s Lily and Fin, the cat lives, and something fun happens to Cheryl, possibly Arthur. Now, what else?