I would like to start off by stating that I haven’t changed projects, and in fact, am not changing projects, because one – I refuse, and two – if I don’t finish this I will die of a broken writer heart. ^_^
So, things are slow in story-land, but it’s been slow in an interesting way. The last several stories I finished all came together pretty quickly. This story isn’t like that. It’ll likely, maybe, speed up at some point, but I’m dealing with an idea that went overlooked for so long it had gone to sleep (haha). It was like Sleeping Beauty’s castle in that world for about two weeks.
In any case, it’s hilarious how much running around I have to do for background information. It was actually pretty interesting, but my notes were a literal terror to organize, and there are so many characters in this story. Like, why are there so many people? But I’m not going to argue with my team, you know. 🙂
So, what exactly was I researching? Well, for starters, I didn’t know where the story was set. This happens, but it doesn’t happen often. And I nearly scared my team, because they were sleeping pretty hard when I woke them, and the bunnies never expect to be pounced on like that. Surprise! Lol! I thought, to be different, instead of letting the bunnies chase me when my brain is freed up for a new project, I thought I’d go after them. You know how the saying goes? A good way to go insane is to keep doing the same things over and over again and expect something different to happen. ^_^
Anywho, I could see the setting, but I didn’t know where I was. So, I ended up on Google checking out the least densely populated “cities” in America, because, you know, the setting looked and felt isolated and small in the old noggin. I was in a “I’ll know it when I see it” state of mind, and I definitely did.
This put me in the great state of Georgia, in the mountainous northeast region, tucked right under east Tennessee. The town, Pinewood Falls, is fictional and is serving as the working title, because, you know, that’s fine. The only other thing that was difficult was settling on a name for the hero. It was literally staring at me in the face, like, I had actually written part of it down, but I had been in research mode for too long to focus. The power of taking a break, amiright? ^_^
Because Pinewood Falls is so isolated, I needed to know how the people there make a living, and what they do for electricity and such, being so far off the grid like they are. You’d think this wouldn’t have crossed my mind, because it didn’t for WINTER’S SIREN, but it came up, so I wrote it down (they’re very eco-friendly people). And then, I needed to know what the main harvests were, which sent me back to Google to look up GA crops, because, again, I would know it when I saw it.
I ended up with blueberries and walnuts, and of course, I had to know when those things are harvested, because it impacts the month the story takes place, because my hero was very specific about it being right at the end of harvest season, like I’m supposed to know what that means. For some reason, I also looked up trees, animals, and temperature, and ended up on this site with rainfall, wind speed, and a bunch of other random mountain information. How lucky am I that the weather for the area is dreary and overcast? 😀
For fun, I drafted a map of the town to keep me straight on where everything is – though it’s totally not to scale. All in all, though, this isn’t out of the norm of how I usually approach research. I think I just temporarily forgot because everything in my last story was extra familiar and there wasn’t much research to do.
I’m relieved to have made it through this phase, though, because I can’t tell you have many ideas I’ve run away from because I got hung up on some extremely random thing in the research phase.