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The Spirit is willing, but the Brain is weak

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I haven’t written in days. Ugh. I feel bad for it too. I’ve been on a really strong roll but just hit a Gelatinous Cube of a wall. It’s not a brick wall, because I’ve made some slow progress into chapter 12. I’m very near to being complete with it. But right now it is extremely slow going.

Probably because I had to stop to do a little bit of research. Trying to determine if the small town I’ve created would realistically have any kind of levee or spillway system. It is right on a major river with a smaller tributary running along the north of town. So it would seem plausible to me that they would require some time of system to control water levels.

I also can’t remember what these particular structures are called. The best I can describe them as is the big cement trenches like in Terminator 2. Its the scene where Arnold is driving on a motorcycle and chasing the T1000 in a Semi-Truck. Bah.

I’m aware those are sometimes filled with water and can be very dangerous. But I just can’t remember what they are called.

Oh well.

I’ll do some more research and try to have a breakthrough.



  1. philosophidian says:


    I’m from a very small town in Alabama with a population of 1800ish. We have a lock and dam on the Black Warrior river…about 6 or 7 miles out of town. We claim it. 🙂 There’s a park out there where people water-ski and fish and swim and can have picnics and there’s a campground…

    • According to a contact on Google+ they are Flood Control Channels. It is just a matter of would a town like mine have something like that.

      Hrm, I may try and think of a few other ways I can accomplish what I’m trying to do.

  2. If the town is in the floodplain of a river or other waterway, them having something like this would make sense. The way you’re describing the town’s geography seems to indicate investing in a system that would channel water away from the town when the river exceeds its banks would be a good idea.

    I’d put some thought into the elevation of the town–which parts of the town are in the floodplain zone and which aren’t. If the oldest parts of the town are built on the high ground and its the newest neighborhoods that are built on the low ground that was historically left alone, putting the flood-control infrastructure near Will’s house would make sense. Think New Orleans where the French Quarter (the oldest part of the city) was on the high ground, but newer development spread into the low-lying areas and got slammed during Katrina.

    Putting the levees, flood-control channels, etc. near Will’s house also another reason for their mother to get upset about them going into the woods–they might get curious about what they find and risk drowning in a retention pond or something like that. Plus if the climax of the book takes place there, it isn’t too far away.

    Hope this helps.

    • That does help. Thanks. Basically, if it seems plausible that these types of systems can be in place, then that is what matters to me. Now I just have to find the best location for them. Like you said, I’ll have to look at where the town started and where the low grade areas are.

  3. yoga-adan says:

    if the town’s too small to support the kind of structure you first envisioned, then maybe a spillway? to bad it wasn’t in houston, then it’d just be a bayou 😉

    best luck with that, sounds like when you nail it it’ll really work well into your story though, best wishes!

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