For Blinded, my next book about the story of Jules, Andrew, and Nick, there were several goals I wanted to accomplish. One of my main goals was to place the story in a setting that would cause maximum conflict between Andrew and Nick. They had a few confrontations in Tenderfoot and I really wanted to push this and blow their relationship up. It started with “What if Nick and Andrew were stuck together for an extended period of time in a situation where they had to work together?”
I decided to do this because Nick and Andrew have a tense relationship that swings between truce and nuclear war with Jules thrust into the role of referee and mediator. The conflict between them adds surprise and complexity to the story. Plus for me as an author, it’s fun!
When I started planning Blinded, I had an idea of what material I wanted to cover but I needed a setting that would allow me to trap Andrew and Nick in a box. That meant it was time to bounce ideas off of someone, in this case, my coworker John. (Alas, he has moved on. The day job will never be the same.) In our last brain-storming session, we suggested crazy ideas to each other to see what stuck, then shot them down as fast as we could. The rest of the day jobbers can’t help but listen in and offer suggestions once they see how much fun we’re having!
Here’s the list of ideas we considered:
- Bank vault
- Cave after an avalanche (And how many rescue people would this involve?)
- Submarine (Not a Bond movie)
- Cage (Tempting, so very, very tempting)
- Plane/private jet (Nick and his endless resources)
- Building falling down (Too depressing)
- Prison/jail (Another interesting idea)
- Shipping container
- Locked room (Couldn’t figure out how you’d keep Nick in a locked room. He has skillz.)
- Elevator (Pretty sure I’ve seen that movie ten times)
- Ski Resort on mountaintop
- Ski lift (Too cold, they’d freeze to death)
Ultimately, the car won in the form of a road trip. This way Nick and Andrew have the option of getting out but choose not to, even though they really, really want to! <insert evil laugh here> While the road trip thing has been done before, it adds a sense of urgency to their quest that a jail or elevator does not.
If you missed the post on where the gang is headed, check out my personalized map on Google. If you want to know why they are working together, well, you’ll have to read Blinded this Fall!
As an aside, writing exercises with a large number of participants help the afternoon go by with a smile!