At the end of July 2011, I was feeling discouraged. I'd had plenty of ideas, all saved into files on my computer, and started to write out the ones I was most interested in. A few friends of mine gave input, saying which ones they felt were the most interesting ideas, and I wrote about 1,000 to 2,000 words of each. But nothing clicked. All the ideas were stupid, too hard, lame, predictable, cliche. I was beyond discouraged. I wrote some short stories just so I could write, but I craved a full length project. Then I came upon the missing girls.
There's been plenty of missing girls over time. Girls have gone missing, been killed, sexually abused, forced to be slaves, held hostage, most commonly by men. 85-90% of the missing people reported to the federal government last year were juveniles. Boys are included, of course. But most often it seems the ones that make the news -- whether they are for the absolute horror of the situation or the strength the girl showed in such issues -- revolve around girls. Natalie Holloway, Jaycee Dugard, etc etc.
I got pretty into the facts. I researched facts, looked up cases, and read articles on the girls, whether they were missing, found dead, or found alive and returned to their families. While browsing, I found a picture of a parade held in Jaycee Dugard's honor when she was found. The townspeople of Tahoe marched through town and held pink ballons, waved banners, and there was a brass band that played.
I viewed lots and lots of pictures of Tahoe's parade and watched several youtube videos. Search "jaycee dugard parade" and you'll get lots of fantastic hits. Here's one of the videos filmed of the parade
The Evolution of a Novel for Building Houses so far.