Dismembering the story for a look inside.
I sat down with a few vague ideas that included story location and the ending.
A rainy dismal day evokes a similar dreary emotion. Old unused railroad tracks tell of a forgotten past. A railroad station once the center of a community, when abandoned often houses the homeless, the castoffs.
Enter famed vampire hunter Annie Blaine. Her name sounded mundanely American, a woman one might meet at work, or a library, or on campus. The name would not draw attention to her. Therefore, she must find a way to accomplish that using wits, intellect, skill, guile, courage, and if all else fails boldness in the face of certain death.
Of course, since I did not want her to be an extrovert who stood out in a crowd. Omitting a detailed description allowed a certain vagueness to define her. Obviously, physical fitness was necessary for a woman in her line of work. That was when I decided that I would not reveal more about her. Let her actions and personality do the defining.
I watched as Annie entered a forest that she'd never before visited, following railroad tracks to a place where she would kill the last vampire. Or so she thought.
Along the way, she dealt with doubts, stubbornness, rashness, ingenuity, and a few obstacles she should've seen, should've understood, but failed to do both.
The story peaks when she is injured, and rides that crest until she accomplishes her primary goal: finding and destroying the last vampire.
The disturbing concept that vampires were frequently considered helpless wimps easily trapped and killed, or worse, desperate for love, played into how I wanted the story to conclude.
When Annie succeeded, she learned that she also failed.
The story marches relentlessly to the ending I had pictured. I'd like to tell it to you, but I've done that already. If you're interested, read the story.