When you hit a wall, do some research! When I originally thought up my current novel idea (about 14 years ago, as a script idea…nothing ever written, actually), I asked on a fiction forum about the best way to rob a bank in England (yeah, like that’s not going to ring some alarm bells…well, on a fiction forum, it didn’t!). I was told at the time (around 1996…pre-Wikipedia) that a better place for an amateur to hit would be a post office, where retired state workers picked up their pensions…in cash. (Perhaps I should have checked up on the guy who answered that for me…hmm…)
Now, apparently, that has gone over to electronic bank transfers, “leading to a loss of revenue for Post Office branches and many closures.” (Wiki-wiki-wiki…yeah, I went there).
Umm…so, now what (for my protagonist)? I had decided to set it in modern-day, but I might go back 12 or 15 years and keep it staged in a era where my original idea could actually take place.
However, in researching the Royal Mail, I came across more of my old fascination: a now-defunct and abandon mail rail system in London, recently invaded by an urban exploration team called the London Consolidation Crew. My story may take a whole different direction…if I ever stop reading up on this stuff.
It’s the curse of coming from the touchstone of Ruin Porn…an unhealthy fascination with (literal) underground/invasive/abandoned urban scene/activity. Doesn’t mean I’m heading to London anytime soon…or even Detroit. But my word count for today will suffer.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.