How Discovering a Unique Setting Can Inspire a Novel
A novel idea usually evolves in one of three ways. A writer may have a certain plot in mind or start with an interesting character. The third, maybe the least common way to start a story, is by coming across a setting that sparks the imagination.
Sometimes a perfect setting appears when you are least thinking about it, and it becomes the focus point for a new novel. You don't necessarily have to travel to find inspiration for a setting because it might be close by, but in many instances my sister and I have found settings that inspired novels through travel. For example, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana are favorite destinations for summer outings, and touring historic homes a favorite pastime of ours.
One summer, after seeing several beautiful Victorian homes in the Colorado and Georgetown area, we became fascinated with the concept of the “painted lady” house. These lovely homes, popular in the late 1800s get their name from being painted in colorful, multiple layers. You will find such a house, and the secrets that go with it, in our newest mystery/romance, The Vanished Lady.
Two Painted Lady Houses with Colorful Detailing
When starting with a setting instead of a plot idea or character, a writer must ask themselves--what may have happened here? An interest in the setting leads to reading about the history of a place and imagining the characters that lived in the town or area.
Whether or not a writer begins with setting, it is vital to every novel to establish a sense of place. Being inspired by the setting adds authenticity to a story and gives it a sense of reality.
Vickie Britton and Loretta Jackson are sisters and co-authors of over 40 novels, and the ebook Fiction:From Writing to Publication. Visit http://vbritton.blogspot.com/ to read more about painted lady houses and find out more about their other books.