|Image: Catherine Hadler / FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
The coffee house is more than simply the setting of the book. It's the thing that drives the story. The characters are reflecting on their experiences in the coffee house, how they feel about it, and where they see it going in the future. Without it, there is no story at all. So it follows that I should know the coffee house as well as I know every other character in the book.
I won't be filling out the same life story interview for the coffee house that I've been using for the other characters. But I will be using a tool from Atkinson's Gift of Stories to track the "life" of the coffee house.
In the book, Atkinson provides a chart for the "chapters of your life." It gives you a place to provide information from different time periods in your life, from events and people to how you felt about what happened. Since the coffee house is preparing to celebrate it's fifth anniversary, there will be five "chapters" for me to fill out for it.
Just as the detailed character biographies will help me tell the characters' stories within the framework of the coffee house book, doing this worksheet for the coffee house itself will help me create the framework for the book.
This will be the last piece of the background writing I need to do before I start actually writing the coffee house book. I still have quite a bit of work to do before I get there, but I know that once that worksheet is filled out, I'll be ready to write the coffee house book.
Now the question is whether or not I'll get it done before New Year's Eve....