I’ll start this with an total admission that I really don’t know how other writers do things. As best I can tell, they all do their own thing with little to no consistency across the writer-spectrum.
I finally nailed where and when I want Family Business to start. (I’ve had TONS of bits and pieces written – I just didn’t know which bit or piece should start it all.) As I said earlier, it’s multi-generational, and each generation that has shown up in my brain has had it’s own story – but just doing it all chronologically just hasn’t set quite right with me.
What’s funny to me is that it will be starting with the first character than sprang into existence in my mind. As I kept thinking about where she came from (lots of stories) and where she was going, and those who would come after her (more stories,) there were many other places it all could have “started” – and yet, Verna Mae Gibson will be where it all starts. I guess my subconscious was smarter than my conscious was in making her the beginning, even if she is technically in the middle of all of it.
“Family Business”* is multi-generational. Which in and of itself isn’t the worst thing in the world – but because it is somewhat historical(ish) fiction – I found myself in a bit of a continuity conundrum – can that which existed ~250+ years ago still quietly exist today? Especially given the voraciousness of real estate developers?
Then I realized that if the Discworld can happily go about its business on the back of four elephants on top of a spectacular turtle… Though Family Business takes place in *this* universe, it also takes place in *my* universe. Which means that I can make a few adjustments that a regular joe in the story wouldn’t even notice anyway, because a regular joe only sees what he thinks possible. And I’ve already taken a few liberties with the laws of physics & nature, so it’s not really in the realm of the impossible.
Thank you Sir Terry for that reminder that I really can make the “that can’t happen” things happen – and that it is so much fun to do so.
*It is the very tentative title of a writing piece I’m working on – the 1930’s DC bits I’ve previously mentioned is part of it.
Taken at Gunston Hall, 3/11/15
Well, the first thing is that I really, really wish my Urban History professor had included DC in any of the texts we read last year.
But with a setting of Washington, DC in 1930s, all kinds of questions pop up as I try to merrily roll my story along.
Was that building actually there?
Where would she have done her banking?
Did this gallery/museum/library exist yet?
Where were the good diners, and how much was a chicken salad sandwich anyway? Would it have even been on the menu!? Could she get it to go?
Could she afford the apartment I want to put her in? (It’s not a great apartment, so at the moment, I am thinking yes, but I also need $$ data.)
How integrated was DC at the time? Could she have had coworkers/neighbors/friends that were persons of color? (Will she even if history says not so much? Highly likely, because it’s my story, and Verna Mae Gibson does not give a shit about what anyone else thinks, she will be friends with anyone she damn well pleases.)
Where is a reasonable location for her parents house, her office, her apartment?
Gotta revisit the streetcar lines. They were pretty extensive. (Unlike now where they are still trying to get *one* line running again.)
They’re fun questions that need answers, and if there is anything I learned in grad school.. It’s how to find answers to these questions.