Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dream a little dream of me...

So, yeah, I've sucked about updating this recently, but no one's reading anyway. Is anyone reading? Shout out if you are. I could use a friend. Either way, I've been ill since New Year's Eve and am now back to blogging.

I've been doing some writing since I last posted, but also betaing my sister-in-law's novel draft. She is the person with whom I've been word warring and such. Very fun. And she handed me 182 pages of novel and asked for my suggestions, then handed me 50 pages of revisions later on.

So, back on topic, I was reading an interview with JK Rowling about how the idea of Harry Potter basically "sprang fully-formed" into her mind and I have to say "NO FAIR!" My idea for my novel, now with the working title of "The Deserter," came from sitting in a darkened room and watching The Matrix: Reloaded. Even then, it was an idea of "What if a hero is being mentored by someone they shouldn't trust?" and then went from there. It took over a year before I actually had the main storyline worked out and the main character's name.

Well, I was also reminded of Stephenie Meyer's famous vampire-in-a-meadow dream. I can say that I have had inspiration from a dream. I had no idea who the main villains of the story were until I had a dream in which my main character was being chased across Philadelphia and my brain narrated WHY she was running away from them.

On the other hand, last night I had a dream that was so vivid and detailed and plot-based that I'm putting it on a backburner of novels to write. Literally, when I woke up, I thought I was still in the dream and kept thinking of what had to happen next.

But for the most part, things aren't that easy. Take, for example, my character's house. I spent a lot of time on Philadelphia real estate websites trying to find out where she lived and found this great little house on 53rd Street near an elementary school and across the street from a restaurant. It was in West Philly, far enough from a place that had to be remote from her house to be believable. I liked the interior and kept writing that in.

Well, the other night, I was looking at information on the Philadelphia Archdiocese because my main character is a lapsed Catholic and at least two significant scenes take place in or near Our Mother of Consolation. I was curious where my character would have gone to elementary school, whether there were parochial schools in her area of Philadelphia. I found that I could look up what neighborhoods certain streets were in.

So that's how I discovered that my white main character and her two white best friends lived in Philadelphia's version of Harlem. Yes, they have white people there, but most of them arrived 15 years after Ella moved in. I mean, for crying out loud, Will Smith grew up there.

So I'm back to the real estate drawing board and am now looking in South Philadelphia.

On another unrelated note, I found in looking at Catholicism in Philadelphia that St. Katherine Drexler, one of their patron saints, was born on NOvember 26. That amuses me, since my name is Kathryn and I was born on November 26.