Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Question of the Day #636

Now that my conference brain is back to normal and I can think clearly again, I need to start my new project. For the last week or so, two characters have been invading every thought I have, giving me clues, poking me with story ideas.

The problem is that their story takes place in a tiny midwest town during the 1960's. Since I wasn't alive or in the midwest then, I have no idea how to create that setting.

I'm off to the library today, but beyond that, does anyone have any setting suggestions?



  1. I feel like the setting is dry and dusty for some reason. Not tumbleweed dusty, but just a little desolate, middle of nowhere, dry and dusty.
    I feel like I see John Wayne.

  2. I met a lady once in a tiny midwest town. She'd never left that place and got her biggest thrill by noticing where her coke bottles had been manufactured. I'm not making that up. I'd say you should think of people who have limited world views and may be shocked by those who don't. And I'd suggest picking a specific small town to fashion your fictional one after.
    Also, I don't know what part of the 1960s you're thinking of but major events happened in that decade that would shake even a tiny town.

  3. I can't help but visualize big skies. Plus simple, but visually beautiful vignettes and buildings. All very retro.

    Good luck and have fun!!

  4. The sixties was the most vibrant decade since the Roaring Twenties, imho, and set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War it was ELECTRIFYING. The Midwest? Dry and dusty? No. Use the heart of the Great Lakes-Michigan, the UP or Port Huron, the heart of the antiwar psychedelic scene. Check it out

  5. Road trip. Don't miss Abilene, Kansas. Place doesn't change. Be sure to have dinner at the Brookville Hotel and the Kirby House. Lots of unmarked graveyards thereabouts, too. I can totally picture kids going out to them, in the middle of nowhere, partying it up.

  6. 不會從失敗中找尋教訓的人,成功之路是遙遠的。.................................................

  7. Well I've been corrected! :-)

    As rom a girl who grew up in NYC, you really can't trust my opinions of the Midwest.

  8. The movie Stand By Me immediately came to mind. Maybe a good weekend rental for added inspiration? I'm seeing a sort of idealic place with picket fences, kids riding bikes and playing stick ball - where Main St. is the center of town...lots of land, big gorgeous skies... hmmm?

  9. In the midwest, there were no war protesters. Everyone was for the war . . . domino theory and all. Republican. Limited world view.
    Woodstock, huh? Hippies, huh? THEM.
    "Reputation" was important. There were good girls and bad girls. Nice girls and hussys. Even whores, if you slept around too much and "lost your reputation."
    What's wrong with that nice SusieQ? She's 23 years old and isn't married yet.
    Debutantes. Formals. Dances. Country club. Three inch heels. Hard rule: White shoes between Memorial Day and Labor Day ONLY. Any other time is a social gaffe.
    Stockings, always. Normally, ecru. Black if it matches your dress. (nice girls don't wear black before the age of 16. It's not "appropriate.)
    Merry Widows: torture. Girdles, always . . . even with skirts and bobby sox. Nice girls don't have a jiggly bottom.
    Plaid kilts (with big safety pins) and knee high soxand penny loafers.
    The advent of panty stockings.
    Penny loafers for men too. Men wore narrow ties. Ivy League. Khakis. Stripped shirts.
    Conformity. Rules. Don't be "different." And if you have to be different, move to New York.
    Small town: Everybody knows everybody. Gossip. Everybody knows everybody's business.
    The dime store: TG&Y
    John Birch Society. Atlas Shrugged. Commie threat.
    College: sororities, fraternities.
    Music: South Pacific. My Fair Lady. West Side Story. The Beatles. (gasp!)
    Women didn't have careers. They had a job until they met a man and got married.
    Sesame Street: radical. Leave it to Beaver.
    That's all for now.

  10. Come visit me, Suzanne. A lot of the towns up here are still like that. Ha!


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