Setting is key

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I’ve started work on a new book. With this one, the setting is so important to the story that I had to understand it well before I could begin writing the book.

I knew the story was going to take place in a Victorian house. As I researched, I learned that I was thinking more specifically of a Queen Anne style house. I searched the web for a house I could use as a touchstone. This one fulfilled the requirements of what I needed:

Victorian house sketch

The bottom floor of the tower will be my heroine’s bedroom.

I searched Pinterest to find floor plans that would work with the house so I had a clearer idea of how the interior might look to the characters…and how it might help develop the plot.

For additional building space on the property, what popped into my brain was a unique setting I had visited myself. The chauffeur’s quarters of the garage of a house museum will be the apartment of the heroine’s new friend.

I love old houses. I live in one.

house from river cropped

(The trees that are hiding my neighbors’ houses in this picture are no longer there, and we’ve added windows to the second story.)

Because this book will depend so much on the character of an old house, it will be even more of a joy to write.

 

 

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About Judith L. Roth

When I was about ten, it occurred to me that books are written by people and I was a person. I could create my favorite things–I could write books! I got a B.A. in English. My first poem was accepted for publication before I graduated. I had some success with poetry, but my real dream was to write fiction for children. My first fiction piece was accepted about 25 years after the first submission. Things you might want to know about me: I know how to persevere. I’m a third-generation California native, living in Indiana. I have two remarkable sons who are now young men,and a husband who’s supported my writing for over three decades. I love cats and currently have three of them. I love being near water–oceans, lakes, rivers all work for me. Chocolate is probably my biggest downfall. I’m exceptionally curious. (Or nosy, as my family calls it.)

4 responses »

  1. Have you been through Ruthmere or through the Chapin mansion in Niles? Or the Bonine house outside of Vandalia?Some cool and spooky places there to make you think and dream. 😀

    • Yes, the Ruthmere is the one I’m talking about that has the chauffeurs apartment upstairs over the garage. And I went through the Bonine House when I was researching for my novel that has the underground railroad in part of it. Also, Tippecanoe Place in South Bend. But looks like I need to go through the Chapin Mansion! Thanks for letting me know….

  2. I love old houses, also! The pic of your house for your MS looks like it has a lot of character and will be perfect. For years I’ve thought an old house not too far away in Saratoga Springs, NY would make the perfect setting for a MS with a bit of mystery and spookiness. When I look at this house it is almost as if speaks to me. You know what I mean, right? Keep up the good research!

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