Facts of Life,  Fun,  Ideas,  Inspiration,  Work-In-Progress

Dance of the Setting Fairy

Not too long ago I posted about real life settings versus fictional settings. I’m on a real life setting kick right now. 🙂

In “Legion” we’re in pseudo-present day Asheville, North Carolina. I love Asheville. So, it’s not surprisingly (to myself) that we find ourselves in NC once more in “The Puppet Box” – this time in Winston-Salem on their very own Wake Forest University campus. Outside of mentioning a couple of real places around campus and their real mascot, everything else is made up. For example, I have a “Sorority Row” and a “Fraternity Row.” There is no such thing on that campus. ^_^

Now, I didn’t set out to purposely set a story on the campus of Wake Forest University. But I thought, why not use a real place if I could? If it’s interesting enough, it may even help me out some. Otherwise, I’d have to make up EVERYTHING. That comes with its own set of problems, the worst of which is something I call “floating story syndrome.”

This is what happened when I tried to write my high concept fantasy. I had no idea where I was. I couldn’t ground myself, and therefore, I always felt like I was floating. It’s not a good feeling. (And yes, I really did experience this with a world I made up myself. Hence the problem.) LOL!

So, one happy, cloudy Saturday, I googled: “colleges in North Carolina” and literally scrolled through some and picked out names I liked. 😀

The first one I looked at was a Catholic college. As much as that appeals to my twisted writer senses, it wasn’t a good fit. Next, I picked a tiny Liberal Arts School. If it was 10x bigger, it would have been great, but it’s way too small. Then I found Wake Forest. Since I was already leaning towards Winston-Salem and Winston Salem State University, I looked into Wake Forest and asked my sister a bunch of questions about population and size, and we made comparisons to schools we’ve been to (since I have no concept of size otherwise), and WFU was perfect.

And when I say perfect, I mean it’s PERFECT. I have a bunch of rich intellectuals in the story, and Wake Forest is a private school (i.e. expensive). AND they even have a creepy puppet-looking mascot called the Demon Deacon!

Thank you, Wikipedia!

I couldn’t have picked a better mascot to show up in my story if I tried!! Main character Riley HATES puppets. Of any kind. And the Demon Deacon is something straight out of an 80s horror flick all on it’s own.

It made the opening scene of my story like 25x better than it would have been on its own. And get this, I actually had FUN researching this school. I read some articles about it. Perused the Wiki page. Visited the actual website for the school. It’s simply…inspired. 😀

It makes me want to go there and drive around and roll around in the grass. Not that I would actually roll around in anyone’s grass. Hello, it’s the south. Can you can tick city? Ew.

But yeah, I absolutely love it. I’m not usually so willing to let the setting influence that I write, but when it works, it really works, you know. ^_^ Who knew it could be so much fun?! It’s inspiring me to let it have a heavier influence on some of my other ideas. Maybe.

Anywho, in other news, I decluttered the comp books on my desk a couple of weeks ago and moved a small handful to the Composition Book Graveyard upstairs. 😛 A couple of those were hard to move, but I feel like a weight has been lifted. 🙂

DUDES, the composition book I’m using right now has GOLD BINDING!! It’s sooo pretty. I’m in love. I have one in pink and one in blue.

I can’t even stand it. I originally just bought the blue one, but then I got home and started thinking about how perfect the violet one would be for “The Puppet Box” so I went back and got it. I found them at the grocery store! OMG! And I never look at their comp books. Never. I think it was just all the Back-to-School displays combined with having a moody kind of day and needing to stroll around and clear my head (and why not run errands AND clear the old noggin at the same time!) EEK, GORGEOUS!! ^_^

I also bought some pens, which are like the last things I need. Haha. 😀

#compositionbookhoarder #obsessivecompulsivepenhoarder


  • Sunflower Michelle

    I want that purple notebook! Gorgeous! (You know my purple obsession is well-documented). And your setting sounds really cool. I’m not really using anywhere real (or contemporary. Ha) right now and because I’m still in first draft mode, there is a definitely a lot of “setting: random room somewhere in London.” *Le sigh*

  • Tonja Drecker

    What an awesome mascot!…for stories, I mean. Otherwise, I feel a bit sorry for the students. None of the stories I’m currently working on are grounded in a real place, but it’s awesome when they are. Research on things like that is so fun. Love your notebook-so pretty!

    • Krystal Jane

      Right! Lol! I can’t even imagine. It’s amazing how much more fun research is when I actually want to do it. And I still can’t believe how much I love that notebook!!

  • authorcrystalcollier

    Because heaven forbid you should have fun while in the research process… This is epic. I’m so stoked for you! Just reading, your enthusiasm leaks through and I’m inspired enough to want to abandon the web and get back to my love project. Make epic things happen, eh?

    • Krystal Jane

      Lol! Enthusiasm is contagious. 😉 This should totally be epic!! I can’t wait to get past the awkward beginning phase. 😀

  • Thea Landen

    I rarely set my stories in real locations, mostly because I don’t want to do that much research! 😉 The one time I actually named towns/cities (I just went with where two of my best friends were living at the time and it fit the story), I didn’t name specific locations, but to people who have been there, the general vibe of the places goes along with what happens there. I hope so, anyway.

    Pretty notebooks! Almost makes me wish I wrote things out by hand more often!

    • Krystal Jane

      Reference notes, starter outline, and brainstorming go in the notebook. Some of the brainstorming anyway. It helps me think. 🙂 But I am trying to stop using a separate notebook for every story, because my notes really don’t take up that much space. It helps to have some really pretty ones on hand!!

      I don’t usually use real places either, and I usually hate doing any kind of research, but this was actually really fun. 😀

  • sandiedocker

    Those note books are GORGEOUS.
    I like the freedom a made-up place gives you when writing, I have to admit. Not sure I’d ever set a story in a proper real place (though I do make references to Sydney, and have a few scenes set there).

    • Krystal Jane

      Aren’t they?! 😀 I used to never do this! But lately, I’ve been finding it more intimidating to use a made up place. I have a story coming up that’s in a made up place though, so hopefully I’ll get grounded in that when the time comes.

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