I'm writing the "Boston portion" of my story--the bulk of it takes place there. I'm also putting together my story playlist on iTunes.I had one for Book the First that I listened to on the subway and such and it helped keep me in the mood or remember motivations as I was going along.
There's a lot less research for this story than the last one. It alternates between the '90s-2006 and 2009. I've actually lived in (and frozen my ass off in) Boston, so there's that. The present tense keeps it interesting for me (and for those of you who read it when it's done, please check my verb tenses) and the outline lets me know what's up next.
Unfortunately, my characters are Red Sox fans. And unlike what a friend said to me today ("You can change that. You're God!"), I really can't change that. It's all right though. They have redeeming qualities, I swear. And it's not even an important plot point. It's background flavor.
This might crazy as hell to anyone who doesn't write, but really, it's the characters that see you through. I come up with characters first, then a premise (sometimes that comes together), then a plot. The characters develop, for me, as I write. They come to life. If there's something in the story that isn't true to them or their situation, then the story comes to a halt. The characters demand things. They're opinionated. They decide to change personalities or love interests or nationality or names. In effect, I decide direction. The rest...I couldn't even tell you where it comes from.
BUT--setting. That is one thing I control. And since Boston is a city that I actually know, here are photos. It'll help me to have them up here to look at as I go along. I like having things that remind me of my settings or characters in a file (on the computer, but also in my desk).
Public Garden, winter
Copley Square. Hancock Building, roof of the Boston Public Library & the Prudential Building
The Esplanade. Charles River. May 2007
Boston Common's gazebo. War protest.
Public Garden. Pond.
The Boston "non denominational holiday tree"