Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Setting as Character
I've written about small farms and mountain communities in Idaho. I have a cozy set in a fictional coastal California town. Mostly, I like writing about places that touch me. Places that call to me.
My cozy started with a picture of a run down, boarded up house, perched on the edge of a charming tourist town. I shot a picture of the house, and the story just kept calling to me. I imagined the town fathers trying to buy that house for years, probably to bull doze the house and build something new. Something pretty. But the owner won't sell. Why? Because she raised her child in that house, the child that didn't come home from Vietnam. She lost her husband in that house, his life slipping away while she slept next to him, unaware. She wants to die in that house.
And besides, she likes making the Mayor see red.
All from a picture.
Settings, they get my wheels turning.
How about you? What causes you to start imagining a new book? Is it place, character, or plot?