Once upon a time, there was a house called BoGaHo.
Built by the calloused hands of Pop, my great-grandfather, the rustic home was the backdrop of summer memories for three generations of my family. My mother grew up there, swimming in the muddy waters of the lake with her cousins, and years later I did the same. It was, beyond the shadow of any doubt, my favorite place on Earth. If Heaven is whatever you want it to be, my eternity will be spent at that little cottage on the lake.
Unfortunately, Heaven and my imagination are the only places where I am able visit BoGaHo again. The house fell into a state of disrepair my senior year of high school and was sold to a new owner who promptly bull dozed it to build a new, fancypants lake house that will never match the beauty that was BoGaHo.
I’ve struggled to come to terms with the loss of such a special place, and in doing so I have decided that someday I will immortalize it in a book. As a writer, that’s the best way I can pay tribute to that house and all the memories it held.
Though I’ve played around with a number of different ideas, I’ve yet to settle on the right plot line to match my perfect setting. It’s an unusual situation to have a setting but not a plot, even though both are equally important to creating a great piece of writing.
So how do you come up with the setting (or settings, as the case may be) of your novels? I’m really curious to know how my fellow authors handle place settings and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Here are a few things I’d like to know:
– Do you ever come up with a setting before developing a plot like I did?
– Have you ever written a story that takes place in a real city or country that you’ve never been to?
– For all the fantasy and sci-fi writers, how do you go about creating entire worlds for your novels?
– Does nostalgia ever play a roll in the development of your scenes?
– Are there times when a setting actually becomes part of the plot itself?