I am working on getting back into a writing group. Before the second quarter 2022 started, it seemed like my group would be disbanding. Which makes me sad. Why, oh why, can't I find a group that I like, which works for me?
I wanted at least one character to be a bit overweight, so I essentially elected her to the task. Because the first seven or so chapters exist to foreshadow much of the rest of the story, her weight does the job admirably. For, who to better contrast with starving characters than an overweight one?
Consider how NaNoWriMo can also affect how we write. I know it affects my own work. Wanting to make word count at all costs can mean front loading a book. It can also mean oppressive dialogue and extra characters. Meandering is great for word count. But it also adds to chapter length. And it's often the kind of addition that isn't necessary.
With nothing to do but read, eat, and fool around, the narrator and her husband are at the ends of their tethers. They are older people—there aren’t going to be any children. So they are not going to repopulate the earth. The one break to the monotony comes in the form of something you and I both hate – automated telemarketer calls.
Like in many wealthy American households of the time, it's the lady of the house who is in charge of the servants. Mrs. Lowell is fair and smart, running her house like a business. Margery Cabot Edwards, on the other hand, is a snobby, spoiled rich girl, more than happy to treat all of her household help like dirt. But her maltreatment is a catalyst to get Ceilidh to find work elsewhere, with the Lowells.
Like other characters named Shapiro, Marnie is a callback across universes. Her middle name, Robin, ties in with Robin McKenna, a pivotal character in the Time Addicts series. Marnie is also a Bostonian, although I don't outline that well enough.