Inspiration Strikes

by Megan Frampton on February 2, 2013

The title for this post sounds kind of daunting, and sort of woo-woo, even though the reality of it will be neither daunting nor woo-woo. SO be warned.

Last night, the Super-Smart Lawyer came over for a long overdue evening of wine, hanging out, and a movie. We’ve basically gone through every intriguing historical drama, so we settled on Barbara Stanwyck in No Man of Her Own, a film noir from 1950 written by William Irish (more on that in a moment). Here’s the blurb:

In the wake of a fatal railroad crash, desperate pregnant woman Helen Ferguson (Barbara Stanwyck) adopts the identity of a dead woman, introduces herself to her rich, new “in-laws” (John Lund, Henry O’Neill and Jane Cowl) and seizes the chance to start her miserable life anew. But Helen’s real-life, no-good boyfriend (Lyle Bettger) is determined to find his former flame and cash in on her newfound good fortune.

It was fantastic. Stanwyck is an exceptional actress, because she can be alluring and hard to look away from, even though she’s merely pretty, not totally striking. But you get why people would be falling all over themselves for her, and in this, she plays desperation and dutiful equally well.

While I was watching, I was thinking how great it would be to rework this into a Regency-set romance, but the style of historical romance I’m currently writing is not nearly this dark and compelling–it’s a lot lighter, more like a screwball comedy than a film noir. Maybe someday I will be able to tweak this story and rework it into a romance, but for now, it’s simmering on the back burner of my mind.

When the credits played, I recognized William Irish as a pseudonym for a noir author, and I was right–Irish was also Cornell Woolrich, who wrote Rear Window and a whole bunch of other works that were made into film.

In non-leisure time news, I am 52,486 words into the next historical (out of 75K), and it’s going well, I think. It’s really hard to tell, but the story feels as though it’s somewhat coalescing.




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