The NaNo Idea: Setting

NaNoWriMo begins in a month and change. For the first time in quite a while, I have a shiny new idea developing.

I want the tone and impeccable characterization of a fanfiction I really love called Both Alike in Dignity (a Downton Abbey modern alternate universe. Don't even need to know anything Downton to read it) mixed with a dash of the Pistol Annies' "Hush Hush."

I'm not sure how my mind spins story ideas out of seemingly unrelated things.

Other random things that are percolating away on this idea: the mayoral race. New York City is being bombarded by the candidates running for mayor, this after three terms of our current mayor. That, by the way, is so long ago that I don't remember Bloomberg running for mayor. My female main character comes from a political family, though she works at a cafe herself and has artistic ambitions. I don't mean the Kennedys; not politics on a national level. Local politics.

And there's this bit of sunshine: the backstage vlog the cast of Cinderella on Broadway. My male main character is insisting that he's an actor, from an acting family, though not a well-known acting dynasty or anything. Working actors, I suppose.

My brain genuinely frightens me sometimes. :-)

I don't have all the specifics worked out, but I am outlining and plan to do so through October. I'm taking my time away from the historical fiction WIP as it's sitting with a beta and thinking of NaNo. It's important for a writer to feel that new ideas can still come and develop, even after being mired in a project for two years. Sometimes writers think, very neurotically, that new ideas will never come back.

Now, about the picture. You see, one thing I'm certain about is New York City is my setting. I haven't written many stories that take place in NYC, because of my "contemporary characters become me and my friends" complex. But I wrote a story in college taking place in Queens, where I'm from, including a detail about the signs on Queens Boulevard like those above. They're real. QB is nicknamed the Boulevard of Death.

I don't plan on going that local. But I do want to feature New York City as a character. How could it not be?


  1. I can't believe that sign up there!!

    I love when my characters tell me what they do for a living. :) Have at it.
    Every time I finish something, despite a growing list of ideas, I'm always afraid the well has run dry. Sounds like your idea is coming along. :) I haven't had much time to work on mine yet, I'm still in editing land. Trying to get out by the 20th at the latest so I have time to do some planning on the NaNo idea.

    1. Yeah, those signs are all up and down Queens Blvd. There are fences on many of the islands in between to prevent jaywalking.

      But the idea is developing, yeah. We'll see what November brings.

  2. "My brain genuinely frightens me sometimes." --LOL!!! If it didn't, you wouldn't be a writer. ;)

    I lived in Queens for a bit--in the Rockaways. Glad we moved before the storm, but man, talk about memories!

    1. Truth. I hope every writer is a little afraid of their mind.

      Aw, Rockaways. I haven't been there in years.


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