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School Additions

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Ashe, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. Ashe

    Ashe Acolyte

    If you've seen my previous posts, you can tell I'm doing a book set within a high school. In the middle of basically nowhere. While reviewing my designs for the school, I feel it's empty and bare. I can't exactly think of anything else to put in a school. I have classrooms, a cafe, bathrooms, a library, a student council room, a gym, (stables, kennel, and aviary for the animals) a pool, a volleyball area (with sand!) As well as a training ground, dorms, and a 10-acre forest behind the school to explore, hunt, or even just take a trail ride with your friends. though... with all this, it still seems like it's still missing something and it's bothering me.
    Maybe more sporty activities? maybe more school-related activities?
    Extra question: In high school/college, what was your favorite thing to do around the school in your downtime?
  2. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    Don't forget the more mundane parts that make up a school, such as at least one entrance (plus the hall this entrance leads into), a hall where lockers can be found, rooms for teachers to sit in or meet each other during their breaks or off-hours, a conference room, quiet places scattered around the place to sit down, do some homework or simply chat. My high school was formerly a catholic high school, so we had a rather beautiful chapel within the main building.

    Here I'm proving to be Dutch, but where would I go to stall my bicycle at this school? For that matter, are there any parking spots?

    Now to list some more fun things: A climbing wall for the gym, a botanical garden, a zen garden, a science lab, an observatory (we had one in highschool and I'm still pissed I thought Astronomy club was too nerdy to join), a trophy room/display, a cinema.

    Your high school sounds gigantic with its stables, so why not add a whole museum detailing the history of the school to it? Parents looking for a prestigious place for their children to study will be all over that.
    TJPoldervaart and Ashe like this.
  3. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    A school farm? A lake with a boathouse for rowing and sailing?
    Maybe a shooting range or one for archery?
    There would be equipment rooms, storerooms, boiler and service rooms, service ducts and all sorts of places off-limits to students and maybe some of the teachers...
  4. Chasejxyz

    Chasejxyz Sage

    I went to a very small high school since my town was very small, but we had a really good music program? There was a music room (with the tiers for the seats), a separate room with cages to store your instruments, and separate offices/rooms for more storage, the band and chorus teachers' offices, and a computer room so you could use Garage Band or print off sheet music or whatever. There was also a therapist's office that got converted into a storage room/where the special-ed paraprofessionals got warehoused, guidance counselors room/offices, a room for shop class, a room for home ec, and this multi-room deal that had the art room, the computer lab for drafting/Photoshop stuff and a room with a screen printing set up (which was really cool!). Our gym had a rock climbing wall, a weight room, and from the ceiling were a bunch of ropes for high ropes course type stuff. The school my town used to send people to had a TON of vocational programs, so there was a small working farm, a patch of forest for forestry stuff, a daycare, a wood shop, a car shop, a full kitchen like a restaurant...and various sports facilities, too.

    You also don't have to set up EVERYTHING before you start. You'll come up with ideas as you're writing, too. Though if you're still working on worldbuilding, then thinking about the kinds of job training your students are getting can help your decision making process (like the aviary, is that for falconry? Animal husbandry? Is gryphon dressage a sport?). The tree stuff probably sounds really weird if you're not from a rural place, but forestry/"tree climbing" is a legit thing (it'a a huge part of U Maine since what other industries are they going to have in Maine?), so if the local industry for your very rural school has lumber, mining, fishing, hunting, leyline finding etc, then the school will probably have classes/clubs/programs for that. The idea of a kid from a big city going to this school and learning how serious people are about their magic tree management program is funny to me.
  5. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

    I noticed you didn’t mention anything about administrative offices. I’m pretty sure my high school had like four areas of just offices for staff and faculty.
    We also had an AV room, like a studio thing. There were also two cafeterias. There was also a room for wood shop and room for metal working. Both of those rooms had computer labs attached for drafting classes.
    But no stables or cafes. That seems kind of extravagant or more of a college thing to me.

    You also didn’t mention any auditoriums and I’d assume every high school has at least one of those. And it would probably be the biggest room in the school other than maybe a gym/basketball court.

    Also, if you google “high school floor plan”, that would probably help a lot.
    If you want to sell the “middle of nowhere” angle, you might want to keep the high school bare.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  6. TJPoldervaart

    TJPoldervaart Minstrel

    Nothing quite as important as enough space for bicycles.

    On a more serious note, there's endless amounts of rooms probably. Some others I can think of are a theatre, a chemical laboratory, and a workspace for technological projects/ magical experimentation.

    And I agree with ChasejxyzChasejxyz. There's probably little use to describing every room in the school. But if you can pick out, say, three non-mundane ones and also spice them up with details that would set them apart from similar rooms in others schools, you could add a whole lot of personality to the school without boring your readers with overly much unnecessary details.
  7. Karlin

    Karlin Dreamer

    Torture chambers?
  8. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

    It’s a high school. The whole thing qualifies.
    CupofJoe likes this.
  9. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    I would craft the story first. By "craft" I mean to cover everything from writing an outline to jotting plot points to an actual first draft. Getting the story down.

    As you do that, you'll find first that the story doesn't need the whole school. Second you will find that there will be parts that you couldn't possible have planned for (teleportation pad?). IOW, rather than trying to plan the school, try planning the story to find out what sort of school is needed.
  10. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

    Indoor and outdoor sitting areas/garden, theatre, offices for the teachers, lounge for teachers, dorms for the teachers, basement and area of the school where students go to do things they are not supposed to do, principals office If you want to get picky add storage closets for the janitors.

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