We got given some homework yesterday — to write in one of our characters’ voices about their hometown. Strangely I didn’t leave it until a few hours before the next class to think about starting it. This probably followed on from our discussion about plot where a small group of us considered potential holes in each others’ plots — mine was getting my unlikely protagonists together, Kim and James in ‘The Angel’. I was probably also motivated by my visit to Village Underground (see forthcoming post).
Making Kim a German has let me re-use a lot of my knowledge about Germany — a country I’ve probably visited about once a month between 2001 and 2009, sometimes more frequently. Despite my shameful ability to speak the language I actually know and recognise quite a bit of German. I’ve also met hundreds of Germans and visited more or less every large city in Germany and Austria, with the exception of places like Leipzig and Dresden. So writing about Kim’s hometown was like teasing open the floodgates. I got to the 500 word limit fairly rapidly: Kim’s Hometown .
Incidentally, the Benther Berg is completely real and so is the hotel — I’ve stayed there a couple of times and there’s a photo in existence of me fallen asleep in the bar there worse for wear having consumed Herculean quantities of red wine on the company’s expense account. It can be looked up on German Wikipedia here.