Anatomy of a story Part 3: setting and set up

And I’ll keep going . . .

So I’ve got Cassie, daughter of Allen who turned out to be an architect, and Tom, a lawyer. It was easy enough to decide they lived across the street from the big, wide open field (any one of those houses I stroll by on my walks). It becomes entertainment for Cassie and Tom.

My imagination is getting ahead of me, tugging on my shirt telling me that while Allen is a little more open minded about the paranormal, he’s still grounded. Tom too. My imagination tells me we’re going to need another character who’s firmly “into” the weird so they can glean information later. I introduce a neighbor in the first few paragraphs, but Madeline ends up just being a backdrop establishing relationships with Allen’s neighbors.

Then I thought about Allen having an Admin (evolution of secretaries don’tcha know), and her name turned out to be Adel.  Not consciously done, but I liked the link to Allen and Adel with both of their names starting with “A.” Looking at it now, it “feels” like a good move even though they tell you not to have characters with similar names. For me, the “A” in Adel and Allen reminds me they mesh well in the work setting.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it felt right too and my imagination told me to go with it.

So now we need our set up. Cassie is out in the driveway watching the birds and Allen is right there hovering to make sure she doesn’t dart into the street. I’ll say Allen is not a “helicopter parent” but he’s involved and he adores his girl. He’s always got one eye to what he’s doing and one on where she’s at. Doesn’t mean he’s always butting in, but he’s aware.

And something in the cloud of birds shows Cassie a shape. And it scares her. She runs back to Allen and wants to go inside. Allen didn’t see anything, but he doesn’t argue because something scared her.

And that’s how the story starts….