“Can I help you?” I had just taken a photo of the map of a medical facility when someone that’s worked in an office too long to know how it’s like to mind their own business walked over. “Uhh, yes, I’m looking for [coffee-shop]…” I was pointed over to the elevators. I went downstairs and reviewed my notes. I’d been through the building professionally a few times so it was fun returning to location scout.
I took 49 photos for over 24 minutes.
Depending on my writing pace against my overall health, I might try to stop through more as I write this 2019 Novel telling about thirty days in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story” at Eville Medical. Other hospitals are freely available to the public, especially staying to the main wings, or if there’s a particular goal in mind. I have two doctors’s appointments throughout the month, so those will be informative, and as far as concerns over trespassing, well, I’m just looking for [coffee-shop].
Location scouters aren’t just for movies.
Although I would be first to advocate for not being a creep, if you’re looking to write a story like I am about how it’s like to build self-confidence by having a large-scale project as a computer repair technician set against the backdrop of medical facilities, the easiest way to do that is to visit them. Soak in the sights. Take photos when it’s not weird. With all that writing fodder, however, the scene in Inception where they talk about building out dream worlds from reality or imagination applies.
I’m not telling my story here.
Part of that distinction involves set-building. Eville Medical will have a distinct “hot” and “cold” side of the facility, a sprawling hospital facility where one building will be for Emergency Services and the other will be for other facilities, shaped like a letter “E.” Patient intake happens through the center, unless of an emergency. Outside of the hospital proper will be non-emergency specialty clinics, shops, and assorted other things that could make Eville’s Pill Hill a central hub for commerce.
I’m not sure of the overarching thematic geography yet.
For me, that’s enough detail to write about for a thirty-day experiment. I will take this seriously, because I’m gambling that it can help my career as a writer, however, any details in it won’t overly impact any of the larger elements of “The Story,” so I’m free to fib some details, as long as I have enough of the anchor points that cannot change like the characters and locations.
Eville Medical will have certain real-life representations.
However, I will not location scout at that place. Eville Medical should represent my imagination or my glimpses into the Imaginarium. I can speak to that for a minute. Let’s say that these events have happened and I am some kind of channeler. With more study over details like how the building looks, the interiors, and other sorts of researchable items, when it comes time for the writing process, I can imagine the scene and have more reference points for how that would look in the story.
All of this is just the finer details.
I have the core ideas in mind. When I wrote earlier about the self-confidence idea, that was the moment that the central pitch coalesced into something substantial. This isn’t just an exercise in writing fiction. This isn’t just some sort of excuse to write about my experiences, interpreted by a fictional character, or to have some kind of large-scale project to pitch to people. I want to show how work can help with building self-confidence.
Given difficult challenges we can attempt, we can better ourselves. If you’ve been reading along through all the prep essays I wrote, I’ve been purging all the self-doubt and the frame story that I’ll use was one of many ideas I scrapped along the way. When I take photographs as I’m location scouting or in life, I won’t know which shots will look good on the computer or how they’ll be used later on. I have some photos I’ve used years later. All I know is that I stop, snap a photo or two, and move on without being overly weird.
I forgot about all the scrub pants everyone wears.
Everything is so clean in medical facilities. You tend not to see dust collect at all and everything is so bright. The buildings are increasingly becoming outstanding achievements in architecture, sometimes being minor works of art worth admiring, so I think having the “E” design of Eville Medical won’t be too weird of a concept. I’ve imagined that the “cold” side was the former “hot” side, as they built out the newer, more modern Emergency Services side.
Ideas like that require research online and in-person.
I’m not sure I’m the writer that would figure out the budgets and building materials over the years that it took for the building to evolve into its ‘current’ iteration, just as the technical sides are just backdrops for the real human drama that happens as you troubleshoot computer issues. I need enough of the details to know that hospitals aren’t usually dirty, but I don’t need to know the specifics. Just like in storytelling, getting weighed down with details is the worst. Whenever I read character bios online, I’m bored by the descriptions of the clothes they wear as if half of that even matters other than for visual cues.
These set-pieces do inform the characters.
The medical industry attracts money lovers and compassionate types. In other industries, someone looking over a sign and taking a photo would just be part of the norm. In healthcare, it’s just a little out of the norm, I suppose especially given the timeframe of a 7am on a cold Fall morning, which reminds me of other location scouting. How do the trees look? Roads? Sidewalks? Construction, entryways, and parking?
When you’re stuck in the writing process trenches, location scouting photos provide ample writing inspiration.
|Quotes: [1,2] Someone else and then me. No point in advertising a place you’ve heard of that’s not paying me or anything…|
|Sources: My professional and personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Three essays left in this writing prep, so I thought, why not go with setting, character[s], and then purpose?|
|Related: Other 2019 Novel writings.|
|Picture: Having a setting means having a structure, and with this picture, the structure was set years ago.|
|Written On: October 31st, 2019 [37 minutes, from 4:02am to 4:39am with limited side tangents, WordPress]|
|Last Edited: October 31st, 2019 [Second draft; final draft for the Internet.]|