He’d lost patience with his wife. Before they married, he’d assumed her talent for writing would provide the lifestyle he craved. He’d read about authors whose debut novel had gained instant acclaim, securing huge money deals and movie options.
But, one year later, only a smattering of her short stories had been published. And it rankled.
“You’re wasting your talent,” he accused her. “You need to write a bestseller!”
Wanting to please him, she had agreed, but struggled coming up with a strong storyline.
Agitated, he pulled a book from the bookshelf, suggesting she use it as a guide.
The book was ‘Wuthering Heights’.
Analysing the book from cover to cover, she extracted what she perceived were the vital ingredients that made ‘Wuthering Heights’ one of the greatest novels ever written.
A ‘pantser’ rather than a ‘plotter’, she let her mind run free, ploughing these ingredients into her first draft.
Her setting… a gloomy house with a touch of the macabre. Her protagonist… dark and brooding. Her story… one of love, passion, obsession and vengeance.
She racked her brain for powerful dialogue that would enthrall readers just as Emily Bronte’s had.
Fearful of her husband’s constant demands and overbearing presence, she strived for perfection, sacrificing food, exercise and sleep, for draft after draft. Weeks became months as she incarcerated herself in a world of editing and re-editing while falling deeper and deeper into depression. Caring nothing for her health or well-being, her husband offered no support.
It was he who found her, slumped over her laptop; her final draft displayed on the screen.
She would never see her novel published and reach the bestseller list. It would be her husband’s name on the cover, taking all the credit and basking in the acclaim.
His newfound celebrity, however, would be short lived.
Night after night, he’d hear tapping at his bedroom window exactly like the tapping of a keyboard… reminiscent of Cathy’s frozen finger. The window would burst open, an ice-cold blast of air fill the room and… voices.
Insanity would find him continually reciting quotes… from ‘Wuthering Heights’.