Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Gabbing about Plot and Setting

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. ~ Mark Twain

I find myself with little to say today. I haven't written a word in three days -- very unusual for me -- though I have opened up documents and stared at them for a really long time. Does that count as writing? I still have a week to finish edits on Liv, and I'm trying (D, I'm really trying...) but I can't get my brain off of my NaNo project.

Oddly enough, I'm finding the subject of my story popping up all over the place (it relates to the quote at the beginning of this post). It's like when you buy a car (or a dress or a piece of jewelry or whatever) and suddenly, you see the same thing everywhere! The subject has been talked about ad nauseum in the comments at the He Said, She Said blog. Yesterday, it was covered on the Dr. Phill show. Nope, I'm not telling you what it's about, you see if you can figure it out!

When Tori suggested I use the name "Podunk" for my actual town, I looked in to it a little and discovered that Real towns named Podunk often live up to their name. I may end up setting this story in New Hampshire, somewhere near Durham and UNH, just because I'm familiar with the area -- though I may make up a town just because I like to manipulate areas to work with the story (you should see the things I created in Colorado Springs for my "Playing House" story -- that book will need a disclaimer).

It's times like this that I consider writing fantasy again. Then I can world build and no one can correct me about whether Podunk is really in Pennsylvania or not (not that anyone did, but you get the idea...)

What do you do when you write? Do you typically set the story somewhere you're familiar with or do you try to wing it with research? Do you like to create your own towns?

NaNo approaches. I wish it would just start.


Judy said...

I prefer to make up the town/city as I go along. Sure, I bring things in from places I've lived or are living, but the town itself is imaginary. Of course, like Karin Slaughter says... just cause you make it up won't prevent people from telling you that "you used the wrong interstate to get from Grant County to Atlanta."

darcy said...

I was looking at a map yesterday and found a town in Indiana named Hardscrabble. Oh, how I would hate to live in that town.

I use the same made up/hybrid of all the places I've lived in all of my stories. I do that because I can "see" it and am less likely to make setting mistakes. I suck at setting.



Ceri said...

Most of my stories are set in small towns so I prefer to make them up. I borrow from towns I know, though. WORL is a little bit of two NH towns I know. Another town is modeled after one on the NH/VT border but I've moved it so its closer to Manchester and Nashua. I have dared to set stories in places I'm less familiar with but I don't feel as strong about writing them. My fingers are crossed for Dreamer's Sea which is set on the Maine coast.

Yeh, maybe after Nano I'll look into my fantasy again, when I have more time to build worlds. :)

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Tori Lennox said...

My shapeshifter story takes place in mostly real places. St. Louis, Austin, New Orleans. I like to set things in places I'm familiar with, though NO is the exception to that because I've never been there.