A while back I worked out a plot for a novel that I thought I might write. That story turned on the discovery of a long lost manuscript, which was to be the second poem about Gawain by the fourteenth century poet who wrote Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
That novel wasn't written, but I did start to think more about what that second poem might look like, what story that poem might tell. Once that had arrived, along with the title Sir Gawain and the Green Maiden, it was a short step to writing the opening lines of the poem, and then a bit more. And then fleshing out the whole of the tale.
Sometimes a story just takes over. I asked myself who wrote the poem, where and when, and under what circumstances. And as I started to answer these questions new people arrived, bringing with them their own lives and interests, and wrapped themselves around my tale of the Green Maiden. Soon they were walking and talking, going about their love-lives, their career choices, and responding to events.
More than anything before, this was a story that wrote itself. It seemed that I was just the one who was holding the pen. I hope this assembly of tales exerts its fascination for others, as much as it has for me.