7 Ways Houses, Homes (and the Rooms in Them) Can Rescue that Stalled First Draft

From Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris:

Home is where the heart is. Or is it?

Home sweet home. Or is it?

You can’t go home again. Or can you? You can go from:

  • Shirley Jackson’s spooky Hill House to the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas —
  • The Rosemary’s Baby creepy West Side apartment in NYC to Manderley in Daphne du Maurier’s classic Gothic masterpiece, Rebecca
  • From the outhouse to the penthouse —

Well-written details of houses and homes — or any place in which characters live and work — become permanently lodged in reader’s memories.

Houses — or homes as real estate brokers refer to them — and the rooms in them can delineate character, set a scene, replace or enhance back story, establish mood, theme or genre. And can save that stalled first draft.

. . . .

The famous first line of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic children’s story, originally published in 1937 and never out of print, was written in a moment of sudden inspiration as the author, then pursuing an academic career, was grading papers. It tells us that—

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.


In No Place Like Home, Anne describesJoe Torres’s tent—

“His little campsite looked welcoming in the moonlight. He had a patched but serviceable dark green pop-up tent with a cleared area in front, covered by a tarp. It was equipped with two camp chairs and a folding table. He opened the tent flap and shone the flashlight beam around.

The place looked amazingly neat and cozy, with blankets smoothed out on a sizable inflated air mattress, a little table with a kerosene lamp, clothes hanging from a pole, and in all the corners were books—piles of paperbacks, some without covers, but all neatly stacked.

An inviting interior. It didn’t even smell bad.

Link to the rest at Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris