1. NeeNee

    NeeNee Member

    Jul 4, 2016
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    Cemetery Setting

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by NeeNee, Jul 8, 2016.

    I am going to set my novel aside for the time being and work on short stories to give me more practice. In the past short stories have always come pretty easily for me, I am just very rusty. So I've always wanted to write a story set in the Massillon City Cemetery in Ohio, I've attached a couple of photos for you to reference. The cemetery is fascinating and I've spent countless hours here exploring and walking the paths, taking pictures etc. The cemetery was built back in the mid 1800s when people used cemeteries a lot like they use parks now, they would have picnics here and so forth.
    The cemetery is full of statues, has a creepy house where the caretaker lives (and all of the records are stored in boxes), there's statues, mausoleums, etc.

    My story idea is my MC goes into the cemetery and can't find her way out because the path keeps changing and the entrance/exit keeps moving as well.

    What reasons would someone be in a cemetery besides visiting a deceased loved one? What reasons would they be in there at sunset?
    I want her to encounter some interesting characters in the cemetery, ghosts, angels, aliens, not sure what yet but she won't be in there alone. Any suggestions on who she should be encountering?

    MassHouse.jpg MassEnt.jpg Masspat.jpg
  2. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

    Jun 2, 2013
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    Grave robbers.
  3. angel2016

    angel2016 Member

    Jul 5, 2016
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    Taking photos?
    Sifunkle likes this.
  4. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

    Jun 5, 2016
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    I used to love riding my bike in the cemetery because of the smooth pavement and lack of heavy traffic.
  5. Sifunkle

    Sifunkle Dis Member

    Aug 4, 2014
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    There's always 'write what you know':

    Or personal/intangible reasons... solitude, the feeling of being surrounded by human history, she belongs to a subculture in which it's 'the cool thing to do' (+/- herd mentality - does she go in alone or with company?).
    Or external/professional/tangible reasons... using the scenery/lighting at sunset to shoot promo photos for a gothic fashion line, has been dared to spend the night there by friends (that one's probably a cliche), is doing drug deals (they're secluded areas, yet close to population centres...)

    That's a grab-bag of ideas; no idea which would suit your character as I know nothing about her beyond gender.

    I think the most tried-and-true one would be ghosts (not necessarily identified as such). Seems like the most obvious plot, but I don't think that's a bad thing: I think there are so many angles you could take that there's still plenty of scope for originality. I'm less convinced on aliens and angels. Angels fit I suppose, but that would probably put a religious slant on the story - there'd be an audience for that, but it's not my cup of tea.

    There was my drug deal idea (whether she's directly involved, or gets herself into hot water for happening across one). I've heard/read/watched a lot of stories revolving around fugitive criminals hiding in cemeteries, although less about actually going there to commit crimes (other than grave-robbing).

    Or... how about a crew investigating the world's worst plane crash? They've been at it for days and they're still pulling bodies out of the ground... (Ta-dum tss!)
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Mar 9, 2010
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    Reasons in general:

    - Rose rustling. (Google, if the term doesn't ring a bell.)
    - Other plant sample gathering.
    - Genealogical research.
    - Other historical research.
    - Rubbings of the gravestones.
    - Some sort of survey of the gravestones--looking at the art, the bits of poetry, whatever.
    - Scouting a site for a movie.
    - Walking a dog.

    Reasons for sunset:

    - She's there to photograph the bats that flock from under some roof, at sunset. We ran across a man that was doing that in our town.
    - Other photography.
    - Catching fireflies.
  7. NeeNee

    NeeNee Member

    Jul 4, 2016
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    I have been thinking that possibly she was hired to enter all the boxes of files that are inside the house that sits on the property into the computer data base. Maybe the job's only been done on the graves that were done from 1980 or so on and all the other files are in cardboard boxes and she and maybe one other person were hired to come in and catalog all of that information.
    She works til late, she lost track of time because she got fascinated reading all of the information about the people buried there. So when she goes to leave it is getting dark or it's already dark. Her car won't start and so she can either walk or go back inside the house and sleep on the dusty couch.
    There's no caretaker in my story because I believe in the modern age that an onsite caretaker is not needed like they once were. The agency that hires her explains that police come by on a regular basis to keep an eye out for vandals and there's a landscaping company that maintains the grounds on a bi-monthly basis.

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