|The Exhibition room, Royal Academy of Arts|
My heroine, Jane, is in London in 1804. She likes to paint and draw, but hasn't done either in the year since her husband died. Also, I need her to re-meet and fall in love with Miles Keegan, in order for this story to have the necessary genre romantic elements.
While I was in Ireland, away from my laptop, I brought a notebook with all of my notes for anything related to my fictional Georgian/Regency Keegan universe in it and told myself that I was going to figure out how Jane and Miles run into each other in London and what, exactly, Jane is doing while she's in London besides "figuring out what she wants to do with her life after her year of mourning is up."
Because that's vague.
I had an idea that maybe Jane, unable to resist art, goes to see the latest exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The summer exhibition at the gallery was a staple of the London Season; it was even featured, briefly, in Downton Abbey.
Or as I told my cousin Liz one night in Limerick, "I need them to get together and I had this idea that either she runs into him after buying a lot of art supplies--I wonder if they had art supply stores back then?"
"Nah, I don't think so. Can't they run into each other somewhere else? It's London, right? What is he doing in London? How long is he there for? What's she doing in London? What do they like to do?"
"Maybe something like the portrait gallery? She likes art, he's sort of attending those kinds of snooty events."
And Liz nodded. This is why brainstorming things with other writers (Liz writes Castle fanfiction) is supremely helpful.