Writer and Architect

The thing I love about writing fiction is I get to make up everything.

Aside from the characters, which are the most important part, I have to create their worlds, their lives, their jobs. Everything about them, down to flaws and birthmarks and freckles.

One of my favorite things about Francesca, the main character of Still Life in Blood, is that she has a cluster of freckles on her back that looks like the constellation Orion. She is quite the unique character to me. But what I love most about her, is her house.

Since I am so much like Francesca, I asked myself, In what house would you like to live? And then I created her house. I imagined the floors—tile or wood only, no carpet—and how many rooms there would be. The kitchen. The living room. Her bedroom. It was so easy. I knew what she would want because it’s what I wanted.

Now, however, I’m “designing” Johnny’s place (the main male character of Still Life in Ice; book two) and it’s so much more difficult. It’s not that I don’t know what Johnny wants… but he can’t afford what he wants. Yet. He’s a woodworker so he wants space. Something with a garage, or a workshop off from the main house. He’s been saving up to buy his own house for years. But as neat as it is to explore what he wants. I can only set him where he is now: a two story townhouse.

So tonight I was researching townhouse floor plans. There are so many! I found one though, that I think will work great for him, all I have to do, is redraw it and add his furniture and appliances and the parking lots. I am detailed when it comes to my characters houses. I’m determined to know every aspect of their house.

So writers out there, do you do anything similar for your characters? Do you plan their house? Their job place? Are you their “architect?” Readers, what is your favorite fictional character’s house like? Do you have one?

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