Stories start in many ways

The Duke of Wellington


When this author was thinking about how attack is often futile, he saw this paragraph in an account of Wellington’s achievements. And the setbacks! 

John Aitchison, a junior officer in the 3rd Regiment of Guards, now the Scots Guards, wrote letters and diaries while serving in Wellington’s campaigns from 1808 to 1814. For so junior an officer, he showed a remarkable and wide grasp of affairs in the peninsular and throughout the whole theatre of war.

On 5 October 1808, he wrote: ‘but let it be remembered the French themselves, at the commencement of the revolution in driving back the Austrians and Prussians united, gave strong proof that no regular army could possess a country defended by inhabitants, although unorganised, if determined to be free. I therefore entertain the most sanguine hope that however great be the force sent against Spain it will not be subdued.”

USING THE STORY OR SEQUENCE OR IDEA THAT FLOWS FOR YOU (WITH IMAGINATION): TRY THIS idea: McPherson took the above quote he knew for 20 years to kick a major scene:

  • the sequence occurs in my draft of historical novel:
  • Dreaming in Bitter Creek

    Join Neil over June 2015 with suggestions, criticism and/or participation! Welcome !