Elizabeth asked me if I was researching Las Vegas weddings because Nick and Nita were going to get married there, and I posted a long reply that made me realize that they weren’t going to because that would disrupt my closed setting. And I like closed settings, I think they add immeasurable to a story. This is one of the many reasons I love Argh: you ask questions and in answering them I figure out what I need to do. And in this case, I need the claustrophobia of a closed setting, so, no, Elizabeth, they’re not getting married in Las Vegas. There’s a bullet dodged.
So what’s a closed
It’s a geographically limited setting that the characters can’t or won’t leave. It’s a small town (Eureka), it’s an island (And Then There Were None), it’s a business (Office), it’s a house (The Haunting of Hill House), it’s a very small country (thinking Leverage’s “Let’s steal a country” here), it’s any setting where the characters cannot go somewhere else because the problem is HERE. Bob and I had an argument about this on Wild Ride; he wanted Ethan flying all over the world. I said, “They’re trapped on the island, the problem is on the
The time lock is key to a closed setting, I
To get back to Nita’s closed setting, Nita is dedicated to her island, not comfortable off it. Nick is there just to solve a problem and then go back to Hell, but he won’t leave until he’s fixed things. The demons on the island can’t leave because there’s iron at the bridge and airport. The humans on the island don’t want to leave because it’s their home. At the climax, Nita goes to Hell, but she does it to save her island and then she says, “See ya” and goes back to Demon Island because that’s where she belongs. I like the fact that they’re trapped there by both physical things and by emotional ties, that the island itself is a motivation. Plus I like
Here’s the answer to Elizabeth’s question that made me think this through:
“I’m trying to figure [the wedding problem] out. There’s a logical (not romantic) reason they would, but it takes them off the island and I don’t want that, I like closed settings, and I’m not sure it doesn’t take too much pressure off Nita in some ways. OTOH, if she’s married to him and then he starts cycling through different lifetimes, that adds pressure. If she doesn’t bring up a problem, he doesn’t have to suggest that as a solution, plus it does solve a problem she has, and she should have as many problems as possible to keep fueling the story. Right now, she brings up the problem to refute something he’s saying, not to ask for help, and he says, “Oh, I can fix that, I’ll marry you.” And that would fix her problem. OTOH . . .
“It’s a plot thing. I just have to figure out how to negotiate it. I should look at Kentucky, too. At one time, you could elope to Kentucky and not have a waiting period (which my college roommate did and I was her maid of honor so I know that one for sure), but I have no idea if that’s still true. The problem with Las Vegas is that I’d have to deal with Las Vegas, and that takes too much emphasis off Demon Island.
“I wonder if there’s a way I could establish a no-waiting period on Demon Island. They’re in New Jersey so they can’t contravene state law, right? That’s a three-day waiting period. Of course, if they had to apply for a license on Demon Island and then try to keep it a secret from her parents (impossible) that could ADD pressure. Hmmmmm.”
I mention all of this because I think setting often gets kicked down the road as a default, but I think
ETA: Since people are confused about where Las Vegas came front, I posted the discovery draft of the scene: