Monday, July 11, 2011

Project Updates: Location, Location

If you ever find yourself having trouble (or even if you aren't) with your writing, discuss it with someone. Or, well, discuss it with yourself at someone.

My sounding board is my carpoolmate, who sometimes asks about my writing (even though most of it goes completely over his head). I'll start rambling about my current project, and before I know it I start brainstorming brilliant story angles I'd never considered. Soon I'll have come up with new plot twists, character traits, and solutions to problems I didn't know I had. He barely ever says a word, but he's a genius.

Last week, inspiration struck. My setting for Project V (a large converted mansion) had been giving me great trouble, mainly because I couldn't figure out how big it was, what had to be on each floor, and what exactly needed to be in this mansion anyway. Whenever a specific destination was required, I simply put "then we headed up to the [__] floor" - and "to be filled in later" lines annoy me greatly. I tried to create a sketch of the mansion to figure out what went where, but it just caused more confusion and headache. This inspiration pulled me out of said horrible mansion and to a nearby location wrought with possibilities and wonder. I was elated.

But this new, wondrous setting wasn't to be had that easy. It would require a great deal of research, the books for which were hard to come by. I even discovered a possible expert, but the odds of him talking to me were slim. I kept thinking: "I know absolutely nothing about this location. If only it were somewhere I know something about." My usual following thought is: "But I hate where I know about." This time, however, I got a mental image of the first few paragraphs of Project V, rewritten into a setting I actually knew about.

And it was awesome.

So although my characters are very grumpy for having to pack up and move locations twice (just down the road, and then across the country), I think I shall be very happy with my decision. If not, I shift them back to Location 2. But I have a good feeling about this.

Want a hint?

Like night and day. No wonder my characters are grumpy. Can you guess which one is which?

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