When considering the setting for ‘The Killing Page’, the first step for me was deciding which country the story would take place in. That sounds weird, I know, however it was initially assumed that it would be set in America. Now, I’m not American and I have little knowledge of everything I’d need to know to make this work. Laws and legislation, how things work within communities, how schools work (we decided quite early on that we wanted Wendell to be a father), leisure activities, even how people speak. I’m not sure if most of this differs to the UK, but just this once I’m playing it safe and setting the story in, oh yes, Britain.
This works for several reasons. Firstly, as Wendell is a highly-respected and successful author, he would probably have links to London in as much for book meetings and maybe his inspiration for some of his novels. And it’s true, there are two sides to London which again works well as there are two sides to Wendell Harp. First, there’s this side:
This is all bright lights, perfect for tourism, overall rather impressive. Kind of like Wendell as an author, really. However there’s also this side:
Although London looks like a pretty ideal place to be, there are other sides to it. For example – homeless people living on the streets. These would be the kinds of people Wendell would use for his research, maybe. There is also a fairly high crime rate in some areas of London, and you have to wonder why. Using the idea that stress has driven people to do usually unimaginable things (I’m not saying it’s true – I’m saying I’m using it for ‘The Killing Page’), that would fit in well with the story for Wendell. I also like how the location of London can reflect two different sides to Wendell’s personality.
Of course, Wendell Harp is a very successful author. From this we can derive that he is probably very rich and also appreciates a quiet, peaceful location for his writing. For this reason, his home is not actually situated in London but just outside, in Kent. Again assuming that he wants a quiet life, this would probably not be in a village or town but completely separate from everywhere, with just him and his family living there. Maybe in a house like this?
In my mind, Wendell is a man who likes things to be perfect, maybe a little bit OCDish. This house is quite large and so would suit his budget, also very neat and quite posh. With no surrounding neighbours and maybe a little stream running through the extensive gardens, it would be the perfect place to write!!!
So. If you’re still here at this point – what do you think? It’s feedback time already!