The sun was blaring down on the car as my beloved drove our little family across the desert to dinner. I was huddled in my seat at an awkward angle, trying to keep my skin from getting singed. (If you know me, you probably know I have PMLE. So when you think of me crossing a desert, think of the non-sparkling kind of vampire trying to do it.) Between the sun and the motion, I was starting to feel pretty queasy, yet I still managed to have a Profound Thought about the park rat novel.
I had a mini notebook in my purse. I had my Blackberry. I could have recorded the thought. But I didn't, so now I don't know what it was. But like all thoughts that a writer fails to jot down, I'm certain it was The Best Thought Ever.
It had something to do with why I'm retelling Persuasion from the point-of-view of Wentworth. (I'm switching the genders, so Freddie the Park Rat's a girl. But she's still Wentworth. :) It was something beyond the obvious reason I'm doing that, which is that Anne spent most of the novel reacting to things whereas Wentworth was evolving and, eventually, acting. It's not fair to say Anne was completely without growth, but the whole setup behind the story is that Anne listened too much to the wrong people. She had to learn to trust herself. But she never had to do anything based on that new trust unless you count responding favorably after Wentworth summoned the courage to tell her he still wanted her. And it wasn't like it was a big deal to accept him at that point, now that he had rank and money and Anne's acquaintances had all been gushing about him for months.
There was possibly something in the thought about how Wentworth is the more sympathetic character to a modern reader. Anne had practical reasons for rejecting him but it's always been hard for me to go as far as saying she was right to do it. I think if I were to write from her side, there would be a lot of angst about how silly she'd been in the past, misery that he's all flirty with other people now, and just whining in general. (Remember I'm recasting Anne and Wentworth both as teens...)
Whatever the reason, I'm doing it this way and wish I could remember that thought. If you see it floating around, let me know.