Sometime during the 1990s, long before I ever considered writing fiction, I read an article by Diana Gabaldon in which she stated that Claire, the heroine of her Outlander series, took over the story and started telling it herself. At the time, it sounded a bit crazy to me, but now I understand what she meant.
The heroine in my upcoming debut release did the same thing to me. The first scene I wrote took place at a ball in Regency London, but instead of worrying about her dress or whether anyone would dance with her, she kept trying to inconspicuously rearrange the flower arrangements. This came as a huge surprise to me, because though I love flowers, I am hopeless at arranging them. So off to the internet I went to find out how to arrange flowers.
The site that helped me the most with this was Flowerona.com, a UK based blog that has several helpful articles about how to create flower arrangements, not to mention multitudes of gorgeous pictures of flowers. One of the most helpful blogs for a neophyte like me was one that showed how to make the most of supermarket bouquets.
As often happens when I research, I spent many, many hours studying the subject, while very little of the information made it into the book. The important thing, though, was that I gained a better understanding of how my heroine looks at a flower arrangement and why she feels compelled to try to improve them.
My hero ended up being nearly as difficult. He insisted on making up his own words. But that’s a topic for another day.