Our main computer crashed this week. While I'm waiting for its healing (we have a good friend who is working to recover the data this week) I'm on another computer, the one that soon *will* be my main computer. It's also the one I used the last time our other computer crashed. Diving into documents, I found a few things I wrote and saved last summer, including this meme.
I can't remember where I found it, but I liked the idea. It was fun to revisit the list today too!
Things That Fascinate Me When I Read and Write Fiction
Moments of decision. I am always at my deepest attention when I get to a place in a story where a character faces a moment of clear decision. Forks in the road excite me.
Names. Character names, place names, explanations for why something or someone is named what they’re named. People who live up to their names, and those who don’t.
Quirky little towns with a cast of somewhat eccentric characters.
Descriptions of landscapes, especially specific flora and fauna.
Train rides, or other moments where people can contemplate the world passing by.
Physical journeying, especially through forests or mountains.
Music or poetry, especially when they’re woven seamlessly into a story.
Interesting collections (and characters who collect things).
American history, particularly interesting tidbits involving presidential or pioneering history.
Descriptions involving color.
People sitting around talking…just talking…the way real people do.
Mysteries, especially ones involving the past.
Unlikely groups of people becoming friends, forging a team, or becoming a community. The more misfits the merrier.
Meals. I’ve already mentioned that I love it when people sit and talk, or have sudden epiphanies, or forge community. Even better if those things happen over food, especially if it’s described so well I can practically smell it or taste it.
Lost things becoming found. Lost people ditto.
Allusions to other books I’ve read and loved. I always feel much closer to a character if s/he has read and enjoyed the same books I have.
Biblical themes, allusions or names.
Two characters who showcase contrasting traits.
Characters who make me laugh because they’re ridiculous and pretentious but don’t realize they are.
Time travel. It drives me crazy, especially when not handled well, but it also thoroughly intrigues me…and always has. I’ve been nibbling at writing time travel stories since I was about seventeen, but I’ve never fully taken the dive.
Narrators whose voices feel so real and authentic I can hear them in my head.
Romance, especially when it’s completely subsidiary to other issues in the books, and when it sneaks up on the characters themselves. Good, believable obstacles (emotional or otherwise) that need to be resolved before two characters can come together.
Family jokes and sayings.
Allusions to world history or church history, especially if it’s an era I’m especially interested in.
Old and young generations needing to learn how to communicate.
Medieval ethos, especially if there are going to be battles.
Talking animals. They’re often so much wiser than we are.
Stars/astronomy. Characters who like to stargaze.
Wise mentor figures.
Moments of pity and charity for fellow creatures, especially when you least expect it.
Puns and wordplay.