Instant Coffee is by no means a suitable substitute for regular coffee.
I've been doing some on and off work regarding Elevations as I recover from a Rainfurrest burnout, and frankly, act of desperation. I've done some external research to better help in forming story. What I had planned to be a simple "Valleydog in the Bay Area" in similar slice-of-life fashion is starting to transform into something more... serial.
The more I think about it, and combined with my own personal experiences of actually living in the Bay, the more I feel the story be more concrete than just a college dog rooming with a bear and having wild adventures. Like, there needs to be a true sense of conflict. An antagonist.
It'll come to me.
Likewise, the initial setting, San Francisco, proved to be a challenge to work with without stepping onto stereotypes due to my own lack of, well, actual experience in the city beyond quick visits and whatever SF Gate posts. Looking elsewhere, eliminating the obvious (Santa Clara/San Jose is, frankly, a giant suburb and nothing to write home about), I tried to get as close to the city without actually being in city proper.
The solution? A fictitious town along the Peninsula, Santa Alta.
Partly based on various Peninsula towns (cities?), chiefly South San Francisco and San Bruno.
Okay, so South San Francisco only without 101 right next to the main street.
With that came the main setting, an old apartment above a crepe shop, just by the train station.
The only issue I do have so far is figuring out the relationships to the characters, like, how the marf are they all connected. I guess I could use Henry Montague's baking service as a connection, but it's a stretch.
Anywho, rambling I be. Thanks for reading, and hasta marfles!