Characters Conspiring


One of my favorite things about being a writer is the way I can fall into a story. The point where I stop seeing the scenes as if watching a movie and I start walking around on the set, able to see, feel, smell, taste, and touch the setting around me. The real world disappears in those moments.

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Photo Credit: Lisa Hall-Wilson (Flickr)

Still, there are settings which I tend to avoid, out of fear or intimidation. My adult WiP, Dark Intent is set in early 1900s. Originally, it was set in the 1800s, but I’m not a history buff. I don’t read much historical fiction either, and therefore found working with that timeframe intimidating. There are so many things I don’t know. Would my main character be able to see her reflection in a window? Could she drink from a water hose? When exactly were blue jeans invented? Could she even wear pants? (Big NO on that one). The early 1900s are worked better, because it was easier to research and I was even able to find images of clothing my characters might wear. To  spend more time writing and less time researching, I found a few period details to sprinkle in to help set the scene.

As far as specific settings and fear is concerned, I will most likely never ever ever write a scene that takes place on a bridge. If my characters ever try to drag me onto one, they’ll have to do so with me kicking and screaming. Even as I type this, I hear them conspiring about a way to work one into a story.

Do you have a setting that you avoid writing out of intimidation or fear?

Want to know how my critique partners answered this question? See Dawn’s response here and Leatrice’s is answer coming soon.

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5 comments on “Characters Conspiring

  1. I stink at describing the scenes, so I really drag my feet when it comes to that. I’m also dreading rewriting the end to WS. My critique partners are right, but the way I should go with it is going to be hard for me to write for personal reasons. I just have to keep telling myself they’re fictional characters. ;o)

  2. You would think more would be available during that time frame. (And if you ever do write one set in the 1800’s, I know someone who could help.)
    What do I avoid? Any scene beyond kissing! I didn’t even add a female character until my second book and the kissing scene nearly killed me.

    • I think I know the same person:-). I thought about mentioning her in the post, but wasn’t sure how she’d feel about that.

      I know a ton of writers who avoid kissing scenes, which always makes me smile. They’re fun to write.

  3. Cynthia says:

    I don’t know if there’s a particular setting I’d avoid writing about, but I can see how writing historical fiction could come with a lot of background research.

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