In my search through the history of our nation and its most well-known "steel towns", I have found a lot of interesting information. I know I want the story of the two brothers set against that kind of backdrop, and I want that industrial infrastructure to have influence on the story too. There were four cities that I could think of that are known for their industrial economic base: Detroit, Louisville, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.
At first, Detroit was really a place that I could imagine the story taking place. I was really into that idea. But as I delved into the Motor City's history, I realized that it just doesn't fit demographically and due to other story requirements that I had.
It pleased me, though, to see that - as I researched the other cities - one of them was really pulling through as a definite possibility. My home-away-from-home, Cleveland. I have to admit, I love Cleveland. Probably because I don't live there. Though I think if I were to move there, it would take some time to finally get tired of it. Everyone who lives there/grew up there say the same thing - they wish they could get out of Cleveland.
And you know what? That's perfect for my story.
So I started doing more and more research on Cleveland between the 1950s and 1980s, forming a history for the family in my story based around the actual history of Cleveland. I spoke with family of mine that spent their lives there, that had firsthand knowledge of what it was like back then.
I'm really finding that this will really fit my story. I'm finding this is the setting the story needs, deserves. I'm happy that I've found my city. Cleveland has always held a special place in my heart - visiting family during the holidays, going to Indians games in the summer and fall, chilling in Strongsville and Lakewood, driving up to Cedar Point...all sorts of fun was had throughout my life in my many visits to Cleveland.
So now it's just a matter of narrowing down the time frame that this will all take place in. As I mentioned before, I have certain time periods that are my favorites, and learning more about Cleveland in those times is a blast. I'm having so much fun with this research. I cannot wait to start putting in the pieces of real-world situations and problems into the background of my story.
There you have it, folks. Story's set in Cleveland.