Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Another Cool Writing Tool (Which Is Also a Big Time Suck)


I truly believe I was an architect in another life. Houses--and house plans--have always fascinated me. When I write, I know exactly what the homes of my characters look like. Sometimes I can find pictures of them. And sometimes I will even do sketches of the floor plans.

Last week, while fantasizing about a vacation home, I came across a Web site where you can design your own log home. It's incredibly easy to use--you can start with one of their plans or create one of your own from scratch. Then you can furnish it, add floors, plant some landscaping, and populate it with people and dogs. You can even link Internet photos to it. Found a table you love at Pottery Barn? Add a link!

At first, I played with an imaginary getaway house for me and my husband. Then it hit me: I could create a real floor plan for my hero's home. And it really got me thinking about things like "Would Matt have a king size bed or a queen size? What color would his couch and hand-me-down chair be?" I hung his hammock on the front porch right beside the old metal glider where the heroine is sitting when she confesses a secret to him.

Hours later, I was satisfied that my hero had the perfect home--and it was exactly like I had imagined it. Now to create my heroine's home...

12 comments:

Kat Jones said...

That sounds pretty cool! It's amazing all the things you can virtualize now. Where were we before the Internet? :)

Suzanne Johnson said...

Oh....I see a big time suck in my future. I have my heroine's house perfectly laid out in my head. Now I can see if it actually works :-)

Cari Hislop said...

I love stepping into my character's homes. If you were to come into my house you'd see I'm the antithesis of an interior decorator. I spent half my childhood enduring vomit pink walls we'd inherited when we moved in and it never once occurred to me we could paint it. Fast forward twenty plus years...when I step into my characters homes I'm always amazed at how varied and complex they are. In one (waiting to be rewritten) the hero designed a room for his beloved...I didn't know what the room looked like until the heroine stepped inside and then it was like...no way...I want a bed shaped like a giant leaf floating on a rug woven to look like a pond covered in lily pads... It would never have occurred to me!

Louisa Cornell said...

Definitely a huge time suck and it sounds like loads of fun too!

JoAnn said...

Kat, I wouldn't trade the Internet for anything. :-)

JoAnn said...

Suzanne, I had to make some adjustments to my hero's house to make it work. But I really feel comfortable there now! And I think he does too. :-)

JoAnn said...

Cari, How cool! I would love to see that in person. :-)

JoAnn said...

Louisa, I've spent way too much time on that Web site! (So much that the company has been calling me. I believe they think I'm a hot prospect!)

Carla Swafford said...

Neat idea. NOW GET BACK TO WRITING!! LOL!

JoAnn said...

Is that a WHIP I see in your hand, Carla? :-)

Gwen Hernandez said...

What a great idea. I drew out a sketch of the training facility where my heroine works, but this would be so much better because I totally suck at drawing. Thanks!

JoAnn said...

For those of you who are interested, the Web site is southlandloghomes.com. Be warned: You have to register, and they WILL call you. :-) But it's been worth it for me. I'm planning houses for characters in books I haven't even thought of yet. :-)