This is the allee at The Mount, in Lenox, Massachusetts. It’s outside the home where Edith Wharton wrote, among other books, The House of Mirth. Her gardens are fabulous, and all restored.

But look at this gravel lane of perfectly trimmed trees. Would your character think it’s peaceful? Or terrifyingly empty? If your character was at this end of it—what would they be hoping they’d find at the other? Or what would they fear?

Wait—was someone supposed to meet them there? What happened?

Would they look for a path more traveled by?

Write one paragraph about Wharton’s allee from the point of view of your character. Make them frightened. The write it again, out of their joy.

What did you learn about them as a result?