As an author, I get to put my characters in any location I want, because I’m the author, that’s why (oh, was I supposed to resist saying that? Oops ::blush:: )
But the right location may not be the “best” location from the character’s perspective. Now, I was weaned on superhero cartoons, and unlike the Scooby gang (who had a Mobile Unit), superheroes always seem to have a home base. I tend to do the same for my characters.
Wayne Manor Vs. The Bat Cave
Who wouldn’t want to live in Bruce Wayne’s epic bajillionaire’s digs? Well, me, for one, because guess who’d get stuck cleaning it, but I digress… The thing is–Bruce Wayne’s house…really isn’t Bruce Wayne’s house. It’s Alfred’s. And the Wayne parents. Bruce just lives there and brings back women once in awhile. We all know where Bruce really lives.
Batman’s real Home Base is the place where he experiences his real conflicts and growth (or lack thereof, because let’s face it, the guy is not getting any better after 70-plus years of grappling with his demons). It’s where he does his best detective work…and where he has the best gadget collection in the history of mankind.
Home Is Where The Plot Is
Home isn’t necessarily the place my characters hang their heads, either. Although my characters aren’t Caped Crusaders (see below), they can be superheroes in their own way. In my current WIP, I have a character “home base” as his downtown loft, but that’s only because one of his inner demons lies in the fact that he moved around a lot as a kid.
One of my other mains in this WIP doesn’t use her apartment as her “home base”, but rather, her beater of a car, because one of her inner demons is needing to escape the expectations of those around her.
In another WIP of mine from awhile back, the home base was actually a small-town IGA grocery store, because it served as a nexus point for the residents of the town to hash out their interpersonal conflicts. I’m also fond of writing career-focused characters, so many times, one or more characters will have a workplace as their home base.
All these home bases have a common thread–these are the places where the character feels safe, yet confronts the greatest challenges to his or her worldview. The action may happen elsewhere, but the consequences usually come home to roost.
I write about quirky people finding their own crazy paths to happily ever after. My short contemporary romantic comedy, Forever Material, features a workplace-oriented battle of the sexes when a Dating Diva and a confirmed bachelor cross wits–and hearts–over work space.
She’s absolutely sure he’s not the marrying kind…
He’s absolutely sure she’s right…
But he’s still going to prove her wrong.