I have always wanted to write one but never had a good enough idea. Then, one night I was thinking about P&P2 and Bingley and that scene in the Lambton Inn and thinking about the line “we have not met since the 26th of November… etc.
Now, we all know how wishy-washy Bingley can be, but I wondered, what if Charles had defied his “captors” just once. What if he did go back to Hertfordshire on his own to see if Jane did love him. However, I wanted to keep the story in canon and I could not make it where he found any answers, moreover I needed to reconfirm some of the things that Darcy and his sisters had told him.
Luckily, we don’t actually know how the Hursts’ or the Darcys’ spent their holidays so they were fair game and I could manipulate them as I wished. We do know how the Bennet family did, even if they did not particularly spend it with the Philips’, we do know that over that Christmas holiday the family dined out very often.
One other tricky circumstance in the novel, Bingley does tell Elizabeth that “it had been a long long time since he had the pleasure of seeing her.” Since that was a given, I had to make sure Bingley never caught a glimpse of her, so that is why he only hears Elizabeth in the story and never sees her face. I could not make him out to be a complete liar.
I hope I have passed it off as a little credible. Such a short little story, but it was incredibly difficult to write. I have this need to satisfy a “balance” thing before I post a story and this story was incredibly unbalanced as I wrote it.
It was also a lot longer. The scene between Charles and Jane in the study where Jane was crying, was, at first, after the party. I had even drafted the party scenes out. But it was clumsy and awkward and never quite fit. Plus, it involved too many other characters like the Gardiner children… who would have actually been at Pemberley at the time and not Netherfield… and I felt as though I needed to explain their presence… so you see, no balance; I cut away nearly six pages and poor Mary Ellen, my beta, had to wait a few extra days for a final draft.
The ending and the title presented a particular problem. It took FOREVER to get it how I wanted, and up until I posted, I was still revising it and changing it. In the end, I hope you all enjoy it. And if I don’t blog between now and Christmas day, do have a happy holiday. La! I made a rhyme.
Tears on Christmas Eve
*The link above leads to a PDF file on my Elegant Extracts site – story is also posted at DWG.