Previously, I talked a little bit about how I selected the topic and story for Crossroads. This time, I’d like to talk a little bit about the setting for the series.
When I started writing the first book, I just wanted to start writing. I was too eager (and ignorant of the writing process) to do any world-building. However, if you want your story to feel real, then you have to make the setting real. I don’t mean that in a sense that the setting has to exist on the planet Earth, (obviously, hence science-fiction) but it needs to be believable. The setting has to exist in the writer’s eye, so it can come to life in the reader’s mind. Some writers build actual maps of the locations for their stories (if the places don’t already exist). Others rely on a city grid taken straight from real life. When I started Crossroads, I didn’t really plan on doing either. All I knew was that I wanted it set in a real geographic location, so it would be tied with a tangible, physical place, but I also wanted to make it up as I went along to make it fit to the story.
I started with what I thought was a cool town name; Rough River Falls. That originally started as White River Falls, but there is an actual White River in central Indiana, and that’s not where I wanted this story set. I thought Rough River Falls sounded cool. A quick Google search showed me that there is a Falls of Rough near the Rough River Dam in central Kentucky. That was perfect! A real geographic location that people could attach the story to, but there is no town of Rough River Falls, which means I still had the liberty to make it up as I pleased. Or so I thought. Continue reading