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May 2, 2012
Posted at 10:00 am

And the decision is...

Editing of Model Student and writing Triptych are progressing simultaneously. I've been focusing on cleaning up details that were inconsistent during the first draft writing, some of which have a strong bearing on the continuing story. Among those big decisions were the naming of the two schools involved and the setting.

Though I managed to keep the location vague in the first volume, I aluded to various features around Portland, OR. So, decision number one was to move the story to Seattle. There are a number of reasons for this, but the varied terrain and views of both mountains and water, plus some social factors that will become significant in Triptych, all played a part in making this change. I toured both cities during April (as well as a few other possible locations) and decided this was the best choice for a diverse setting appropriate to the continuing story.

I never liked the names of my two colleges. So, I've done a search of several different area schools, place names, and naming conventions and have arrived at the final names for the two colleges. Tony is enrolled at the Pacific College of the Arts and Design, referred to as PCAD. The name is similar to both the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). The storyline calls for students studying varying disciplines on a BFA program, including Painting, Theater, Dance, Advertising Design, Textile Design, and Music. I think "Arts and Design" covers this well.

I really disliked the name of the neighboring college that joins with PCAD for a dual degree program. It just never worked for me, but I was stuck with it until I could do a rewrite. I got a lot of great suggestions from readers and arrived at the following: Snoqualmie City University (SCU). I chose to make this a university rather than a college as I see such a wide variety of programs available and a strong athletic program even if it is only Division III. Tony is having to make a pretty big decision regarding whether to study Exercise Science and admit to being a jock, or English Literature and consider himself to have two worthless degrees. We'll see on that front.

So there you have it. I'm now 13,000 words into Triptych and already the characters are laying waste to my carefully laid plans.