I grew up in the pre-digital age, spending many an early adolescent hour at the worktable, building plastic model kits. Airplanes and ships – those were my specialties…
Wait, wait, wait… don’t go skipping away thinking this is some nostalgic, back-when-I-was-a-kid kind of thing. Just hang tight for just another couple of paragraphs or so and you’ll see that this applies to you – yes you.
One of the most charming kits I’ve ever encountered was the sailing ship Black Falcon, by a model company called Aurora. It was designed at a time when pirate movies were all the rage, but long before scale fidelity was a thing. The box art alone tells you everything you need to know about this little sailing ship. Except that she ends up being about a foot long, goes together like a dream, and requires about a gallon of paint to look cool.
Okay, that’s the end of the nostalgia part. You and I – we’re writers. We don’t dwell too long on boring stuff like old model kits. Leave that to the hobby bloggers.
One of the main characters in my novel Marigold’s End is a ship called Kathryn B. She’s entirely based on the Black Falcon.
Okay, so, just a tick more backstory.I found a version of kit marketed by a company from the Czech Republic called Smer (although you can now find her marketed by a company called Atlantis). I put it together, painting the hell out of it.
Having done so much research to make my Kathryn B authentic, now when I look at the Black Falcon, I can only see her inaccuracies. So, I’ve embarked on a journey of modification, taking the few spare moments I have and applying them to making the Black Falcon more authentic. You can find more information about that over at The Black Falcon Project.
Here’s where you come in: where does your writing take you? As I’m busily reworking the Black Falcon’s main deck, I’m slowly working out the bits and pieces to the sequel to Marigold’s End – we are surely going to meet Blackbeard, I can tell you that!
Putting the Black Falcon to rights is like lighting a fire under writing a new book! How easy is it to walk the deck of the fictional Kathryn B after sanding down the model decks of the Black Falcon.
So, I challenge you, my authorial friend: seek out those things in your life that bring you the gift of a writing prompt. I hate those silly, meaningless prompts you find on Instagram. What in your life can you find that will start your next chapter? Your next book?
Mine seems to be the curse of a tiny, tiny ship. Who knew?