Monday, August 23, 2010

Back Home

I've had a wonderful vacation in the Rocky Mountains for the last 10 days. My family and I went up a gondola to the top of a mountain, viewed a ferocious waterfall deep in a canyon and saw bears, deer, elks and mountain sheep. A good time was had by all, although the highlight for my 13 year old daughter was the day we spent in a huge mall in Edmonton.

As we pulled into our driveway yesterday, I thought about the place our home has in our lives. Sure, there's drudgery and routine, but there's also comfort and safety. It's the same for our characters.

Think about the role of home in your characters' lives. Is it a refuge or a battleground? Do they feel a sense of peace as they open the door or does their stomach clench from fear? Is it worthy of a decorating magazine or is it 'lived in'? Are they welcomed by the aroma of dinner in the oven? Are there squadrons of fruit flies circling over the spoiled peaches in the kitchen? Is there a pet dancing for attention?

No matter what kind of adventures you throw at your characters, every one of them has a home to retreat to at the end of your plot. Give yourself enough time to become familiar with each of them.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got 10,000 loads of laundry waiting for me. It's all about the glamour.


  1. Welcome back, Elspeth. Your mountain vacation sounds fabulous, and I know all of you have great memories that will become fabulous stories to share over the years. Laundry glamour. Yup.

  2. Elspeth - Welcome back! We've missed you! And I do not envy you the laundry.... Funny you would ask about the role of home for characters.. my protag has a solid home life; I think he really likes being there. Some of the characters in my WIP, though, not so much. It's an interesting contrast.

  3. Glad you had such a wonderful, refreshing vacation. You are so right about home. No matter how much fun a vacation is, there is something so great about being back hom.

  4. Funny how laundry increases exponentially when you go away. Welcome back. Finding 'home' is an underlying theme in all my books, I think.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  5. Welcome back! You've been missed...

    And what an excellent comeback post! I love this question, and it's one I haven't really thought about in a long time. My MC has a home that is a battleground--not b/c of those who are in it, but b/c of those who have lived there before. And I don't mean supernaturally!'ve really made me want to dig into this topic.


  6. Thank you all for the warm welcome back messages! I'm glad I wasn't forgotten...

    Karen; Oy indeed.

    Carol; It was a good time - but I'm glad I'm finished hopping from location to location.

    Margot; I think a character's home life reflects on how he/she views the world and him/herself. I'm glad Joel has a peaceful home at the end of the day.

    Maryann; I think the best thing is sleeping in your own bed, surrounded by your own stuff.

    Terry; I think you're right about the laundry and I understand how finding home could turn into a common theme.

    Michele; What a lovely comment to come back to! Thank you and I'm glad you found it thought-provoking.

  7. Glad you're back!
    Excellent reminder about characters having a home.

  8. For my characters, the home is definitely a sanctuary.

    Welcome back - hope you get through that mountain of laundry!

  9. Glad you had a nice trip.
    This year I've travelled so much I really have learned how important home is. You're right it is routine and what you know but it also is safety- safety to just be who you are warts and all. What a relief!


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