It’s a funny process, writing fiction. When trying to describe exactly where ideas come from, it’s difficult to pinpoint. So much of it occurs far away from a keyboard, the inner musings that happen almost subconsciously whilst meandering through life’s more mundane tasks. I did not expect to find the perfect solution to a question I had posed to myself on a map I was looking at for research.
This is the suburb where my protagonist is meeting a new character, a state over from where she is now living. She takes a car from the airport to seek her out and end’s up finding her at a Westfield shopping centre as seen on this map. I have never been to this state and needed to take a look at a map to describe it.
This new character, Holly, had to have an occupation, and I was a little stuck with it. I knew she was in health care, which feeds into the narrative around her latent healing abilities. I also needed to show a character who was empathetic and absolutely human, which my protagonist is not at all expecting. Taking a closer look at the map I noted that she was literally around the corner from the Children’s Hospital. Of COURSE she’s a paediatric nurse!!! I’m not sure I could have come up with anything that could be more fitting to reflect who this new character is and why she is different from the others.
Of course, this means more research, but that was always going to happen! It may even change, although I don’t think that’s likely. It was very much a lightbulb moment, the muse was kind to me on that day. Which less likely roads have you come across the perfect answer to the questions you have asked of your characters? I’d love to hear from you.