Sunday, April 21, 2013

Setting as a plot driver

My sister-in-law sent this photo of the Oregon coast this morning. Besides being breathtaking, (I miss the ocean from my home near the center of the North American continent), it set my mind to spinning with story line settings:

Take away the homes, and you could be an explorer seeing this for the first time.
You could be distraught, thinking of jumping off. Or a child playing with his friends when one slips, and your life changes forever.
You could be returning home after a war, wondering if your true love has waited for you.
You could be a criminal looking for a place to hide out, or the lawman hunting you.
You could be a battered wife looking for a new start, or newlyweds heading for a romantic bed and breakfast.
A weary executive, wanting to relax, maybe do some fishing.
A painter seeking to break through his creative stagnation.
Is there an artist community below? A fishing village? Militant training camp?
Is a storm approaching? Will an oil tanker spring a leak? Does the storm beach a whale that brings a host of television crews to town?
What secrets lie in the brush at your feet? A body? A baby's shoe? An engagement ring? A rare plant with the power to cure?


  1. Wow, your imagination has certainly ben working overtime here, Ana. What great ideas just from one photograph - which looks beautiful, by the way. Reminds me a little of the west coast of Ireland!

  2. I love the photo and it's just the place I'd love to escape to. Which leads me to ask many of the same questions. Great inspiration!


  3. I do these pop conceptualizations all the time. Picking one is hard, and then there's the rest of the story to decide on. That's really hard.

  4. This is beautiful!

    It makes be want to write about pirates on the high seas sighting land after a long journey.

  5. Let's buy an acre on that hill for a writing retreat.