This weekend I vacationed at the Finger Lakes in New York. The best part (besides the wine tasting and peak fall color) was that we stayed in a castle (notice picture to the left). Belhurst Castle was built in 1885 on the edge of Seneca Lake, which is over 30 miles long and 685 feet deep. The Navy uses it to test submarines. Aside from the fact that I always get plot ideas when I travel - who wouldn't be inspired by this setting?
As I lay upon the heated massage table, my mind started whirling with possibilities. Actually had to force myself to turn it off and just concentrate on the amazing massage. The interesting thing is that I began with the heroine. Why? I have absolutely no idea. The more I thought about it, I realized I always start with the heroine, never the hero. This annoyed me. Why should I fall into that sexist rut?
So I tried to turn it around on myself. Managed to have a dream that night about a different hero, same setting (uh oh - am I setting myself up to write a series?). Stubbornly, once I awoke I tried to switch the sexes. Turn my original heroine into the hero and flip flop everyone's gender. It didn't work.
I barely have the germ of a plot, only the hint of a conflict, and a couple of character outlines. In other words, I'm not exactly in deep enough to care one way or the other - or so I tried to tell myself a couple of dozen times. Even had a 5 hour drive home to wrestle with the idea, to no avail. For some insane reason, I can't change my original idea for a heroine into a hero. She is who she is. Does this happen to any of you? Have you ever tried to reverse the roles of the hero/heroine in a book to see if it bcomes more interesting?