Does Your Work Influence Your Setting?

There’s nothing particularly special about my agency’s office. It’s in an old tannery building near the city, but a bit too far south to be considered in “Downtown Proper.”

It overlooks a railroad track and several mostly-empty apartment buildings whose remodeling projects got abandoned in recent years when the architects ran out of money. There’s a vodka distillery in the parking lot and an honest-to-goodness cobbler off the loading dock.

Yet it amazes me how much this place has influenced my writing!
Here’s what I mean:
  • I used the style of the old original exposed brick walls as inspiration for a museum in a Clive Cussler-esque adventure novel I have swirling around in my brain.
  • The railroad tracks, loading trains and occasional train-hopper I see out our back door became the almost sole inspiration for an awesome steampunk I’m working on.
  • The exterior building façade influenced the architecture for another historical steampunk idea.
  • I even used a line in one of my pieces about the constant smell of Pine Sol in the stairwells.
  • Someday, I’m going to stop by the cobbler’s and ask him to make me a pair of leather boots like one of my characters wears.

It’s funny how the most mundane things can shape our stories. What about you? Does your workplace find its way into your writing?


  1. Hi there
    Thank you for stopping by my blog. Great blog post. I suppose i am inspired by everyday life really from the things and the people around me :)
    I may be being really thick but what are S'mores you mentioned on my blog??xxx

  2. Eve: Mmm, S'mores are so good! You roast a marshmallow and stick it between two graham cracker halves with a piece of chocolate in the middle. The warm marshmallow melts the chocolate into gooey goodness! You'll definitely have to try it.

  3. Hi Nicole,
    Yeah they sound fab, but the only thing spoiling it for me is the marshmallows, ewwwwww!! I just can't eat them, even as a kid I did't like them.:(
    But the rest soundsssssss yummy!!!!! xx