I have a busy day ahead. I must first shower, then shop. After all, I can’t let a 10% Tuesday go by without purchasing my groceries for the month! This time, though, I must hurry through the store so I can spend more time with my good friend and rampage buddy. We haven’t seen each other since November’s Craft Sale adventure! Who knows what our time together will bring? Usually it is a cheap breakfast, but today it will probably be more like brunch. Then off to parts unknown. Perhaps the Art Gallery or Museum. Maybe we’ll take in a movie & take advantage of the Tuesday special – movie & popcorn & a drink all for the low price of admittance. Or maybe we’ll just sit in the restaurant drinking coffee (or tea) and catching up on all that has happened in the last couple of months. Since I had filled in for someone at work full time before Christmas, we’ve only shared the briefest of emails.
So much for getting any writing done. Maybe tomorrow…
Question # 7
How do you develop the settings for your stories?
In the case of Withershins and Spirit Quest, it required extensive research to find out what it was like in 1846. That research included looking up maps of the area at the Manitoba Archives and finding books with old sketches that reflected the scenery of that time period. There is also a website that shows sketches of Upper Fort Garry that helped me orient myself when Michelle went with Duncan to the Upper Fort.
I have written many other stories that haven’t been published yet: Science Fiction, Fantasy, as well as Historical Fiction. In every case, I have to know my fictional environment as if it is a real place still in existence and as well as if I have actually been there, so I can move my characters through it without confusing the reader. I find making my own maps of places that figure strongly in the story helps me envision the setting so I can guide my characters around without losing them. For a fantasy story I am currently working on, I used my husband’s Autocad program (used by engineers and architects) to design my own castle, level-by-level, so I could remember where things were as I was writing about them, in addition to my maps of the fantasy land in which I had set the story.
Question # 6
Are any of your characters real people?
Since my story is set at a historical place and time, I did include several people who were living at that time. The Reverend Cochrane and his wife were real people, as were Governor Simpson, Duncan MacRae, and the Sinclair sisters, Harriet and Maria. Since their descendants might read my story, I tried to portray them all in a favourable light although I did take a few liberties, assuming that they would have acted a certain way if presented with the actions of my imaginary character, Michelle.