Today, I should try to define or describe the landscape (woods) and the house (inside and outside).
I haven’t decided in which part of the world the story takes place. The reason why I am so reluctant to do this, is because I don’t want to limit my creativity.
Keep in mind these are just ideas for now.
Woods: What should be in my woods. How should it look like?
Trees? Oak trees, dogwood, willows, birch, fallen trees, tree stumps
Paths? Overgrown path perhaps?
Other plants? wild flowers, ferns, shrubs, mushrooms, climbing plants (ivy), nettles, moss.
Animals? squirrels, hedgehogs, mice,
Birds? owls, black birds, cuckoos, doves, singing birds (thrush, nightingale)
Season? Autumn, red brown leaves carpet
Weather? Cold-ish, humid in the woods.
House: I’ve googled some houses just to get an idea of what the outside looks like.
The house in my head: White-painted wooden house with black roof and shutters. White wooden fence around the property with a black iron gate. White sign with black bold letters. There is a garden with flowers and maybe a big cherry blossom tree?
The house stands in a clearing.
I still have to decide if the house looks abandoned from the outside or is it neat and tidy?
I still have to draw a map of the interior of the house.
So I have 5 characters (that I still have to figure out). I’m placing them in the woods, but where? USA, UK, South Africa or entirely fictional?
They come across a house. What does it look like? White, old, dilapidated comes to mind. Shuttered windows perhaps? Roof is black.
Is there a garden? Trees?
Is the house surrounded by a wall or a fence? Does it have a gate?
How many storeys? 2 or 3?
Is the door unlocked? Yes
Is the house spooky or charming? Maybe a bit of both.
Is the house real or enchanted?
How many rooms does it have? Hallway, sitting room with grandfather clock and piano, heavy furniture, staircase, dining room, library, kitchen, scullery, two bedrooms, bathroom, study, hall closet, games/play room. I’m going to have to make a drawing with the layout of the house (another day perhaps).
There is a sign with a warning not to trespass. This sign will start a debate where the ‘moral compass’ will tell the others it’s a bad idea to check out the house and another character saying what harm could it do? Maybe calling the ‘moral compass’ character a chicken.
Once they are inside the house, it’s as if they stepped into another time. They see a vicious looking dog/wolf patrolling the grounds outside.
I’m not sure how comfortable I am in publishing these details. I hate for someone to read it and steal my ideas.