‘Why, after all, should readers never be harrowed? Surely there is enough happiness in life without having to go to books for it.’
Woe is me. Or rather my characters. Or it should be. I have a hard time sending the Four Horsemen after my fictional darlings. But how can you have a story if nothing out of the ordinary ever happens? Life for most people is pretty routine: Work, sleep, eat, shop, chop wood, carry water sort of thing. There has to be more to them, something that makes them extraordinary, to make it worth the telling and the reading.
Ok, so maybe it doesn’t have to be the Apocalypse, but there needs to be more going on than a nice tidy existence. To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut, the characters have to want something even if it’s just a glass of water. Maybe it’s time for the [insert ominous organ music] File of Doom. I’ve set them off on a bit of a journey, but I think it’s time for some metaphorical rain to come into their lives.
I’d like them to end up in a particular locale, but it’s an area that I’ve never visited and I’m not sure I can get enough information off the net and out of books to compensate for my lack of first-hand knowledge. Taking a trip there right now is out of the question. But maybe it won’t matter, I’m not sure how much time they need to spend there or how much interaction with the local populace will take place. Is it necessary to have visited Dracula’s castle to create a creepy setting? Maybe I should rein it in, and keep them in areas I know better.