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I start with my characters, and sometimes, I don’t really move beyond the interior of those characters. It can leave readers a little bewildered as they fumble around a ill-defined world.

To solidify things, I’ve turned to Pinterest. In my story, Soda and Lime, the characters actually undertake a journey, stopping in four location before the end. I made a board for each of them, and thought about what these locations mean.

To make this even more fun, I’m not going to tell you a lot about the story.

Seedy Nightclub

This place is really about where Brutus is in his life: he’s a forty-five year old man trolling nightclubs for booty/a vampire to slay. He’s a bit out of place here, like he is among vampire slayers, who are normally retired by his age.

John is just desperately looking for blood, but he thinks he wants sex, because no one told him he’s a vampire and he’s just kind of denial that anything weird is going on.

This setting relies heavily on how we think about nightclubs, especially seedy ones. We assume they’re for young people, and we question your motives when you go there looking for more than a good time. This location reflects the emotional turmoil of both characters.


Brutus and John are here for only a night and I wondered about making an album, but then I found drugstore with a wonderful orange and pink sign, and a coffee shop with a man and a dog. I’m going back, rewriting this bit, and I’m adding these wonderful details.

Even though their stay is brief, Brutus continues on his important personal journey of opening up to John. As they’re on the run at this point (I mean, vampire slayers are supposed to kill vampires, not sleep with them), it works well plot wise. It’s so huge they can disappear, and it’s a busy shipping port, which of course brings us right to our next setting…

The Freighter

So much happens on the ship. Brutus and John grow closer. Questions are answered: why John was abandoned. New questions are raised: what is John going to turn into that the vampire that made him wanted him dead?

It’s really one of those, “You’re smarter than you think you are,” moments as a writer, because the setting reflects the plot, the characters.

Spanish Idyll

Everybody deserves a happy ending, even if it’s a Romeo and Juliet romance. For me, this is a place that very much doesn’t really exist. It really is all those amazing digitally manipulated pictures of that album (except that facade, that facade is there because it’s gorgeous). It’s what I felt like when I was kid reading Hemingway talk about fishing with a bottle of wine, because he really loved fishing and wine. It’s afternoons in gold, and easy love, and it’s perfect happiness, and because that’s not real, it doesn’t last.

It’s the perfect setting for the last act, because you’re watching, waiting for everything to come tumbling down.

I hoped you enjoyed my post (and haven’t gotten stuck on Pinterest). Check out the other participants in Behind the Scenes: