I've plunged right into the middle of my time travel fantasy, leaving the opening chapters incomplete. I did this on purpose. There's absolutely no use spending a lot of time on the opening chapters when I know I'll go back and rewrite them. I have the first chapter written, where my characters take a road trip from the 2010s to the 1970s. Then, I just jumped back in time to the 1920s, their destination. In the final version, they'll take the road trip all the way back in time. When they get to the 40s, they are going to trade their vehicle in for a 1920s model, which they'll use to cruise all the way to their destination. But I'm not going to bother writing that yet.
As part of my "research", we took a road trip up US-1 into Georgia. We stopped off at the Okefenokee Swamp Park. At the entrance, the alligators were right there; no walls between them and us. They could have easily run up the bank and chased us to our car. However, it was a hot day, and alligators are cold-blooded creatures. They're just not going to move fast for any old reason.
It made me think of my characters. There's a long patch of nothing between Waycross and Folkston. Imagine them cruising along in some rattletrap vehicle when Ashley--who drank too much iced tea in Waycross--can't hold it in any longer. She makes a pit stop on the side of the road. And there she is, with her dress hiked up, when she finds herself in a staring contest with an alligator.
Is that too cruel? (Imagine diabolical authorial laughter here.)
And railroad crossings. I can imagine Mike breezing through them until they have a close encounter with a train in an era where there are no crossing guards. (In Arizona, many rural railroad crossings still have no gaurds. There's simply a stop sign. Here in Florida, every road--no matter how insignificant--seems to have a crossing guard.)
I'm having to do a LOT of research. I don't know whether St. Augustine was electrified in the early 1920s. Since the Rural Electrification Act wasn't until the 30s, I'm not sure. Most urban areas were, but I would hardly think that St. Augustine would qualify as "urban". For that matter, did St. Augustine still have gas lights during that era? The lighthouse--which is on an island--wasn't electrified until 1936. Oh, and I see the lighthouse's keeper's house was electrified in 1925, which might indicate that St. Augustine proper was being electrified a few years previously. I might have to actually go and look through the microfiche of the St. Augustine Record, something I have not done since my college days. Or, I could look up the local electric company's history. (Microfiche sounds funner.)
And that's just one of my questions!