Notes: On Room Creation


One of the more challenging things about writing THE DEAD is room creation. In order to create believable new rooms, I have to feel like I know those rooms inside & out. When working with a story of such a vast number of diverse settings, fully fleshing them out can become time-consuming.

In the past, I’ve forgotten this rule and tried to rush carefree into the concept of a room before pulling the due-diligence. Before long, I’d start stumbling over my own mind as it tries to make sense of the setting; quickly spilling all my attention on the mechanics of that setting rather than the characters. In those moments, I’d find it’s best to pause, take a breath, break out the notebook and start scribbling about room details until I feel comfortable in the surroundings of that scene.

Of course, there are some cameo rooms that are just snapshots to help with the world-building, and those are nothing to dream up. But for rooms like Devi’s Bar, the War Room (coming soon), or The Prison (coming very soon), whole floor plans have been drafted. Pages of notes scribbled. Reference pictures have filled folders. I tend to get lost in the history of these exotic and exciting locales, and before I know it, hours have passed.

It’s easy to get lost in the creation process, but deadlines are deadlines—even when they’re self-imposed, so when I get trapped in a room, pushing extra hard to get my schedule back on track becomes the new focus.


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