The Michelangelo Concept of Writing, Part 2

Written by on August 25, 2014 in The Writing Life with 0 Comments
Michelangelo Portrait by Volterra

Michelangelo Portrait by Volterra

The request has come to me: More examples, please.

One of the most striking in my experience occurred during the writing of The Picardy Alliance. While “dreaming the story” one evening (described in The Michelangelo Concept of Writing), I saw flashes of what seemed like lightning in a night sky. It illuminated the faces of people gripping suitcases and walking alongside a road. I sensed that it was artillery fire that was lighting the scene that way, and that the people I saw walking with suitcases were evacuating the area. But I hadn’t yet run across any instance when a battle took place at night. And how did such a scene fit in with the story? Should I trust what I saw, or discard it as just part of an overactive imagination?

I combed my research books, checked online, studied all my notes, and after a few days found it—the only night battle during the 1940 invasion of France. General Erwin Rommel leading the 7th Panzer Division made a night thrust toward the town of Avesnes in northern France, which was exactly where two of my main characters were heading, and on the same night they were traveling. The intersection of my characters and Rommel’s attack was sure to happen.

Talk about your goosebump moments.

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