Story Space

It occurred to me over the last couple of chapters of my current work in progress that I’ve given myself a close limit of space within which to make the story play out. This is nothing new. My previous book, A Christmas Tale, happens almost completely within the house of one of the characters.

For similar reasons, Letters To The Damned takes place within a small area. It is set in a small English village, surrounded by farmland. While this gives me possibilities for some variety of movement, most of the action must necessarily take place withing the small village square. As my protagonist is an American who has never been in an English village before, there is some room for exploration and quirky local characters, but with a little thought I can take him a little further afield.

Literally, I’ve just had him out in a field on what the English call a “public right of way”, which amounts to a path across a farm that is otherwise private property, but the path itself is public land. They have some strange laws over there and they make for interesting situations for a writer.

The rest of the village is just rows of houses down country roads. So, what can I do with this? Well, my character might make friends with a local or two and get invited into a cottage for tea. How exciting. /droll

I’ve set myself a deadline to have this book finished, including editing, for an October event. I don’t expect it to be a 500 page tome. I would, however, like to take it to a reasonable novel length. This will be an interesting challenge for my imagination. Not only must I find variety of action within a confined space, but I have to keep up a constant feeling of tension, or at least a series of tense events that will keep the Horror aspects of the story.

My future writing plans will be in very different spaces. I have a Dystopian series planned that will at least let me have a large city as my working space, though there may be chapters that happen in more confined areas. So, these first stories working entirely within small space limitations are good practice.

I want this one to be good though. Letters To The Damned is the book that will test whether I have it in me to be a Horror writer.

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