Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, May 20, 2011

Getting Lost in the Setting

When you're writing a book, do you ever get lost in the setting you've created? I do.

Right now, I'm writing an adventure novel, Jungle Jeopardy, that's set in the jungles of Central America. I have a wonderful National Geographic map of Mexico and Central America spread out across a third of my desk. As I write about my characters' experiences in lost Maya ruins, I am captivated by the subject. When I leave to proceed with my own daily life, I think about my characters as though they were real living people.

Sometimes for past books, I've made a big chart and stuck post-it notes all over it as things happen. That can be pretty helpful when you want to check on the timing for some event. For this book, I have a little black spiral notebook that's 4 x 6 inches in size. So far, I've almost completely filled it with research notes about the Maya, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala. It's amazing what you can find on the Internet, even including the sounds certain animals make.

Since Jungle Jeopardy is a sequel to Secrets by the Sea, I keep a copy of that novel close at hand as well. I also make little notes on sheets of paper scattered about my desk on both sides of the computer. And there are photographs torn from magazines from some of the destinations in my setting.

Getting lost in the setting is a lot of fun. Now, I can hardly wait to see how it all turns out because my characters have taken over. I truly won't know how this book ends until almost the last page. It definitely will not end the way I originally planned.

I'd love to know what happens when you're writing a book. Do you ever get lost in your setting?

No comments: