Ever wonder what it takes to build a fictional town? For the next few days I’ll share a bit about how my little town of Wolf Creek, New Hampshire was built. Not all writers work the same way, but in my case, I started with the location.
When I started this series back in 2013, I already had Resurrected Hearts (then called “Mushu’s Heart”) firmly planted in my head and I knew that my story would take place in the rural Northeast. I needed a location rich in Indian lore so Google became my best friend. I researched the tribes, their legends, their language and began to meld together a new tribe, comprised of so much of the existing folklore.
Next came Google Images. Thank GOD for that! It’s nice to view the scenery without the expense of travelling there (though I’d still love to). As I studied the landscape, I paid attention to the architecture, the types of cars, the flow of people and traffic. Pictures started to take shape. What would a town the size of Wolf Creek need to sustain itself? Ideas for shops and the characters that run them became more real to me.
Finally, the clincher – what’s with the name? Naming the town was the very hardest part for me. There’s a lot riding on this little fictional town. My entire series, the attractiveness of it, the likelihood that readers could relate to it, were all tied to the name. I went through several names. Each was okay, but not THE ONE. I can’t even remember anymore what I was doing at the time, but I remember that the name just came to me. I Googled it. Were there other towns with the same name? Anything close to my intended location? Did the name have bad connotations, or something that would require me to get permission to use it? Nothing, nothing! The name was mine. Just like that, a town was born.
Check in tomorrow for a description of Wolf Creek’s flower shop, Fresh Cuts, and it’s entertaining owners.