“It’s like playing God. Can you think of anything scarier than that?”
— from Sidney Sheldon’s Rage of Angels
I sure can’t think of anything scarier. But that’s a writer’s job.
When Sidney Sheldon penned those words, his character wasn’t talking about a writer creating a fictional world and everything in it. The same sentiment applies, though. It’s not easy having a whole world in your hands — or creating one with just a keyboard and your imagination.
I’ve been working for a while on a series that required a lot of serious world-building: creating an entire bustling American city, a multi-generational history for the family that helped found it, love interests for the three brothers who live there now, and many, many other elements past and present.
So many elements, in fact, that I was on overload.
A friend noted that I wasn’t just trying to create a world, I had moved into creating a universe. She also joked about the irony of me being a contractor’s daughter yet having trouble doing my own construction work.
I decided to scale down and work on something smaller than the Benedict family universe, or even a whole world. I figured I could handle maybe an asteroid and work my way up.
The idea was to do stories set in a coffee cafe, with heroes based on the descriptions from my Of Coffee and Men post. (So really, I guess it’s more like an asteroid belt.)
I already had premises for some of my Caffeinated Couples’ stories. That meant I only had to create a coffee shop where things play out. I figured that would be easy by comparison.
Easier, maybe. But easy? Don’t bet you your latte on that.
Some of the questions that had to be answered: Where is it? What’s the vibe — hipster hangout, old-school coffee shop or Starbucks clone? Is it popular? What’s it called?
I’ve been all over the map with ideas. Who am I kidding — I’m still all over the map. But I decided have to go with what I know. On weekdays, I’m among the DC commuters who mob the many coffee spots near Metro stations downtown. I personally look for a place I can get in and out of fast, but for the stories we also need a place with space for singles to sit and sip and interact. So that’s the model.
As for the name … for now, I’m going with “Get Perked.”
But I’m open to suggestions. Any ideas?