Free association is defined as the mental process by which one word or image may spontaneously suggest another without logical connection. I used this technique at times to help direct my story.
Sounds crazy? It worked for me. Writing historical fiction, especially if it is set in medieval times, can be very limiting. There is not much recorded history still in existence if the character was not a major player on the world stage. If it’s a secondly character, even worse.
In my work, Barbarossa’s Princess, I was able to flesh out a rivetingly ghoolish scene that worked beautifully in the storyline. For instance, Almudena – brother – harem- eunuch – making enuchs. Okay, my mind said use that. I had to introduce a brother for Almudena, I had to give him a job, i.e. eunuch, I had to tell why he became a eunuch and how he became one.
Believe me, it turned out great. When I read this section to my writers’ group the men crossed their legs and winced, but loved every wordl.
Free association … try it, you might like it.