Regency Group Write

OK, so I had this crazy idea and I’m going to try it out on you guys.

I’m going to cobble together a brief Regency-set story using (practically) nothing but the comments to this post, which story I will post next Wednesday unless the whole thing turns out to be an embarrassing fiasco, in which case I will um … do something else unless they kick me out of the Riskies for having dumb ideas and then carrying them out.

By which I mean, you-all will have written the story whilst I do the cobbling and rearranging of your Regency Group Write sentences.

So, a few parameters (watch out! I’m making this up as I write!).

  • The hero’s name is Colin Exeter-Smith, the Duke of Hartley. He is 27, unmarried and looks EXACTLY like Alexander Skarsgard, only possibly he is not a vampire. His close friends and enemies call him Hartless.
  • The heroine’s name is Jessica Darby. She is 24, plays the piano and is a mathematical genius who hates cooked carrots. Her friends call her Darby.
  • The hero’s best friend is William FitzAndrew, 28, the earl of Featherlock.
  • The heroine’s best friend is Sally Elizabeth, 23
  • There is a dog named Fred.
  • The antagonist is Sir Waverly Scott, 30 and he may well be sequel bait.
  • There is a mysterious castle

Choose from the following for your comment. Please limit yourself to 1-2 sentences per response. You can leave more than one comment, or put in the same comment if you want, just make it clear there’s more than one.

  • If you can see a coffee cup from where you’re sitting, write about the weather.
  • Is your hair blond (naturally or otherwise) or do you think you’d be smashing as a blond? Write a sentence in which you use one of these words or phrases: penultimate, Loch Ness, square root of 11, reticule, shark
  • If your name contains the letter E, your setting is a carriage ride
  • If you know someone named “James” write some (unattributed) dialogue (can go beyond 2 sentences, unless they’re long sentences)
  • Look out the window. Can you see the sky? If it’s blue, write about the antagonist, otherwise write about the hero’s best friend
  • If you thought about chocolate at any time today or yesterday, write about the heroine’s best friend.
  • Check the other comments and ad lib with the idea of helping me out or filling in gaps


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Jane Austen
12 years ago

Darby and Sally knew the road that led to Harlech Castle had been plagued by a notorious highway man that the authorities had yet to catch. They sighed their relief as the castle came into view and no one had yet relieved them of their jewels, but then the carriage came to a lurching stop and hoof beats could be heard.

Victoria Janssen
12 years ago

William FitzAndrew ducked behind a hedge trimmed into the shape of a duck and, holding the reticule at arm’s length, gently tugged it open. Inside were various…female things. Also a note, on crisp ivory paper sealed in scarlet wax.

12 years ago

“Any man so unfortunate as to share the names both of Sir Walter Scott and his ponderous novel has good cause to be disagreeable.”

Janet Mullany
12 years ago

Rain streamed down the windows as Jessica Darby gloomily contemplated the boiled carrots that were all that remained of the lavish dinner served in honor of the Duke of Hartley.

Hartless he might be; certainly his grace was not stomachless. What other appetites might the Duke possess?

[cool idea, Carolyn!]

Megan Frampton
12 years ago

The weather, William FitzAndrew thought from the comfy confines of his carriage, was as appealing as a plate of cooked carrots–which is to say, he thought gleefully, dreadful for his best friend’s fiancee and delightful for FitzAndrew.

Because it was raining and the entire wedding party was headed to the only open-air castle in England owned by Sir Waverly Scott.

And FitzAndrew did not like Darby, not at all, not since she corrected his maths from Oxford while visiting FitzAndrew’s best friend Hartless.

12 years ago

“I think perhaps you’ll be forced to accept Hartless’s proposal,” Sally Elizabeth said, keeping her gaze carefully on her embroidery. “If his worst fault in your view is that he didn’t take a first in maths, I’m afraid you’ll have to keep digging for a legitimate reason to say no.”

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

A black cat ambled across the cold stone floor of the castle’s huge hall, directly in their path.

(because every mysterious castle must have a black cat creeping around)

Can’t wait to see you pull THIS one off, Carolyn!

12 years ago

Fred let loose a low growl and the black cat ignored him as only cats can. Colin tightened his grip and hauled back on Fred’s collar and the hound instantly obeyed, sitting at his feet.

12 years ago

“Tint the mashed carrots red tonight, Cook!” instructed Waverley, “Let’s see how long it takes Miss Darby to notice! I have a bet with Miss Elizabeth about the means by which she’ll seek to dispose of them!”

“Here we go again,” thought Cook.

Rene Sears
12 years ago

Jessica Darby poked the red mass on her plate suspiciously. Sure as 0,1,1,2 would be followed by 3, these were no beets.

Susan in AZ
12 years ago

Hartless Hartley studied the blue sky, and wondered if the square root of eleven could possibly predict tomorrow’s weather. No, he didn’t think so, and wondered why Darby would imply such a thing; she must have decided his blond hair indicated his intelligence, to his detriment.

Susan in AZ

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

“What can Hartless possibly see in this chit? She’s plain as a Quaker’s cat.”

“She’s a damned sight better than his last wife and no mistake.”

“How so?”

“At least the chit has both of her eyes and most of her wits.”

“Point taken.”

12 years ago

‘Thank Heavens for Fred and Sally!’, thought Miss Darby as she calculated impact and trajectory before surreptitiosly tossing her pork chop into her best friend’s mashed carrot, causing it to splash on her bodice, causing her to shriek, causing all diner’s eyes (but One) to turn to that unfortunate miss as Miss Darby used the opportunity to dump her carrots under the table for the dog.

‘Blast inventive women, anyway!’ thought Waverly, staring at Miss Darby, resigned to having to pay up on his bet.

12 years ago

Sir Waverly Scott was not used to being made to wait on the master’s ‘pleasure’ or anyone else’s pleasure for that matter. Yet, there he was cooling his heels in the drawing room doing just that.

That left only one thing to do. Pour himself a dram or two of FitzAndrews’ Scotch. Ach, but there was not enough time to become the sodding bastard everyone saw him to be.

In as lady like a manner as Jessica could manage, she dropped her uneaten carrots at Fred’s panting mouth.

Too much? Take what you want. Great idea, btw. Reminds me of ‘Three Words’ on FB.

Ann Marie Gamble
12 years ago

“We’ll set Darby to work. No doubt there’s a relationship between the width of the crenellations and the number of rejected proposals. We’ll call it the Hartless Constant.”

“Leave the bloody hound be, won’t you? He can’t lead you somewhere he’s never been.”

[Thank you, friend James.]

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