My WIP has gone through a lot of setting changes. It’s definitely steampunk, so the natural choice was Victorian London. It seemed like a no-brainer, especially considering all the research that I did for AFD.
The problem was that the MC is most decidedly not English. I tried. Not happening. She was very clear about that.
The next attempt was post-apocalyptic desert southwestern U.S. Another no-brainer. I grew up in the desert southwest, and it’s pretty post-apocalyptic as it is. But that just wasn’t it, either. There were a number of similar scenarios, but none of them was a good fit.
Fortunately, setting doesn’t really become important for me until the second draft. The first draft is for hammering the bugs out of the story, making it work, making it tight. And yesterday, I managed to finish the scene that’s been jamming up the works for two weeks. It reads like an auto-summary of a USA Today article, but the events are out of my head and down on paper. Now to finish off the remaining scenes next week and put it to the test.
The timespace I’m eyeing right now is shortly before or shortly after the rise of the Paris Commune. It wasn’t a great time to be a cop, for one thing. By all accounts, the police had fled Paris–as you can imagine, the law enforcement section of an overthrown government would not be popular with the leaders of a populist uprising. I like the idea of setting my MC to her task in a siege environment. Coming from the slums herself, she would naturally sympathize with the uprising. At the same time, she feels duty-bound to uphold justice, and justice, in this case justice means protecting an aristocrat from the mob. What’s that, Mr. Maass? How can we make it worse?
The next task, though, will be to dash off the final three scenes (hoping that none of them proves to be as problematic as the last one) then even out the setting from a conglomeration of three very different, very rough timespace descriptions to something even and neutral.
And then, hopefully in a few weeks, I can dive into a delicious new bout of research and start decorating.