Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I, Crimsonstreak: Setting the Table

Today, I'm writing about setting; how locations used in the book give readers clues about the world Crimsonstreak and his friends inhabit.

Clermont Institution for the Criminally Insane: In the beginning, Crimsonstreak is stuck in the Clermont Institution for the Criminally Insane, a prison designed to hold people with superpowers. Sensory information for our hero is minimal here, with only the occasional glimpse of a single TV providing any insight into the outside world. Crimsonstreak remarks that his cell walls are padded (or were at one point). The entire setting is meant to evoke isolation and the sense that Crimsonstreak isn't in control.

New York/New Chaos City: Crimsonstreak has visited here before, and he recalls the streets bustling with people and hot dog vendors. When he arrives there after escaping, he comments on how pristine everything looks. Few people are walking around, and our hero gets an intangible sense of fear. The city is meant to project a sense of foreboding on Crimsonstreak.

Sanctum Cometus: Spacious and loaded with all kinds of tech gear and gadgets, the home of the Crusading Comet gives Crimsonstreak a breather. He's visited the Sanctum Cometus before, and recalls some of the layout. The labs, workout facility, and stored gadgets establish that the Crusading Comet is a professional hero who takes his job seriously.

Chaopolis South/Chaopolis: While New Chaos City is a place Crimsonstreak has visited before, it's not somewhere he knows intimately. His mind can play tricks on him there. Not so in Chaopolis/Chaopolis South (Indianapolis/Greenwood, Indiana), cities the hero knows very well. Both locations have a sense of both the familiar and the unfamiliar; when things are different here, Crimsonstreak finally realizes how much the world has changed.

NWCW Administrative Center/SpecPro: Both locations are completely unfamiliar to Crimsonstreak. They're full of strange technology, shiny architecture, and ancient Rome-inspired sculptures. He can't quite get a handle on it...and neither can readers. That's the point.

Chaos' Lab: Like the Administrative Center and SpecPro, Chaos' Lab is supposed to be unfamiliar. Unlike the other locations, the lab is designed to be unsettling for Crimsonstreak. Cloning tanks, holding cells, bleak lighting...this is a place meant to give the character a bit of a freak out.