For the past two weeks I’ve been working on the companion novel to Letting Go. I’ve been wanting to write it since the moment I wrote about Chloe in Isabelle’s story. Unlike Jamie, Harper, or even Isabelle, Chloe came to me as an elaborate, well-rounded character.She’s been the same since she uttered her first lines in the story (those being “You’re doing what?”).
It’s not just her character that fascinates me, but also how different and at the same time the same she is with Isabelle. Their friendship grew almost out of necessity. They met in first grade and quickly realized they had something in common – absent-minded parents. They supported each other and amused each other with stories of their parents’ incompetence. Their friendship isn’t based on trivial things girls their age talk about, it’s based on a lot of sadness and loneliness, and perhaps it is that much stronger because of that.
Where Isabelle is reserved and a control freak, Chloe is open-minded and straightforward. The fact that she had to be responsible from an early age doesn’t lead to her seeking even more responsibility and control, but to her trying to find freedom. She wants to be free from anything that could anchor her to one place, limit her. Including boyfriends. She avoids serious relationships; she claims she’s too young for that, and that she wants to have fun until she’s old enough to settle down. Then she meets someone who is determined to change her mind.
Chloe is darting across my screen as I write her scenes; she’s alive with energy and inspiration. Work on the novel is going really well, although it was slow to start. Her story has been months in the making, until the last piece of the conflict fell into place last week and I started writing. Sometimes, you can have an entire story, peopled with fantastic characters, but still something’s missing. It can be a tiny bit of information, a secondary character, or just a glitch in the time line, but until you resolve it, the story won’t develop the way it’s supposed to. Let’s celebrate the moments when the last piece of the puzzle completes the picture.
I hope to finish the first draft before May when I’m going on vacation to Tuscany. I can’t wait to go, because I’m sure I’ll find plenty of inspiration there, among those sweet-smelling hills and in the olive groves. Maybe my next story will take place in Tuscany.