How do you organise your writing - Idea to Promo and beyond discussion

Geographical and locational settings

Comments Showing 1-45 of 45 (45 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

When do you decide where the geographical setting of your work comes into play? Do you know this right at the outset or does it scream at you later? Why would it not be important to your work? How do you decide where the tale takes place? How do you keep track of multiple locations in various geographical areas?
Please share any other views that I may have forgot. Everything you come up with is helpfull to aspiring authors.

message 2: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) I don't always know, in two they are in a fictional location. I set up Happiness Hills in an obviously fictional town. It does resemble my little hometown in many ways though. That was intentional. So I supposse I did know at the outset.
I two other books, I haven't really described location, i suppose I've left it to the imagination. The locations are 'anywhere' USA or Canada, why? I didn't want to get bogged down with locational stuff. I like to create the environment in my head while I'm writing. It's tough to remember to keep things accurate, for me anyway. I'm thinking I may write something using a real place soon, but it's going to be a place i know, so none of you will know if it's real or not. Sneaky bugger aren't I?

message 3: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Stone (laurenreads) | 23 comments it depends on the piece, sometimes i will know because of the characters, their occupations, their speech, how their syntax affects dialogue and character traits. othertimes its just the idea of the room, and then it branches from there.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks for the response, Renee. That's a good point to, when is it appropriate or not, to state the real location or when to let the reader imagine?
I felt I had to set the location in Nobody's Inn (to be in Short Shocks Volume II)I set it in Scotland, in a specific locale. This helps me when dealing with the wolf research (hunting area etc)
I also use specific settings in a story called Panacea (working zombie-ish title)around the central belt of Scotland and the historic facts of the time as for the realistic feel. Is that what really happened? Thankfully it's not anywhere near finished. Now, is not a good time/perfect time to release it?

message 5: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Stone (laurenreads) | 23 comments for the screenplay i posted on here, i had to research the geography of catalina island, create a map and a grid inorder to set the scenes and plot the danger zones. that was probably the most thorough location research i have ever had and that was because the location really became another character in the story.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Google map allows you to get down to street level and look at buildings etc. Would you find that useful to see what a street look like in another part of the world and would you use it?

message 7: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) Yeah, I'm going to look right now. I just need to pick a city.

message 8: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Stone (laurenreads) | 23 comments i think if you can't visit the city and get a real feel for it, that would be a great way to get some inspiration.

message 9: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) OKay, I put in google map and really got nothing.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Where were you trying to find, I'll see if I can send you a link.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Lauren wrote: "i think if you can't visit the city and get a real feel for it, that would be a great way to get some inspiration."I think it's great. You can be a viirtual tourist before you go. It has good potential for research.

message 12: by Jacqui (new)

Jacqui (worddreams) | 15 comments Another good question, Andy. Are you an engineer?

I use New York City as the primary location for one of my novels. I did extensive research using Google Earth and Street View. I drove along the street where my main character lived to see her apt., her walk to Columbia, that sort of thing. The story picked NY because of plot issues. Columbia U. satisfied some of my dramatic needs and plot lines better than any other University.

In my other novel, the story travels across China, India, Europe, Africa. I mapped out the trip to see what my characters would see--the Himalayas, the Ocean, the Pyrenees, etc. Where's the walking path through the mts separating France and Spain. It was a fascinating adventure, doing the research.

message 13: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) I have to figure out these things. Google Earth and Street View? That's all I type in? Jeepers this is more complicated than it has to be I'm sure.

message 14: by Jacqui (new)

Jacqui (worddreams) | 15 comments Google Earth is a Free download--a wonderful 3D view of the world. They enhance it with Street View, which literally drives you down the streets and alleys of cities across the world (even hiking trails in some instances). You can see what businesses are there, the color of their canopy, the cars parked on the street. What a way to add credibility to a story!

message 15: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) I found it, and I love it! My kids are after me to show them more. Maybe later.

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

A virtual world of wonder and grime at the touch of your fingertips. I think this will have impact on work I write about based in built up areas.
I fisrt used it when I was looking for a plot of land or what an area is like for the house that is for sale. So much potential.

message 17: by Jacqui (new)

Jacqui (worddreams) | 15 comments With the addition of undersea and Mars, Google Earth can help scifi authors as well (I'm techno-thriller). I'm glad your kids like it, Renee. Try Celestia (free also). What a beautiful journey through the Universe it takes you on!

message 18: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) I will. They love this computer. Sadly, I have to navigate most of it for them. I'm trying to teach my oldest, but I've also got a block on her login, so she can't go on somethings without me coming in anyway and putting in the password to allow. It's a pain, but I'm not taking it off. you don't want to know what she came up with without it.
She was searching 'Pussy Cat Dolls', yes, it was bad.

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

The only bad thing about Google Earth is that, now when you go to a place you haven't been before and you recognise a building or know where to go, then it can't be put down to past live etc. Bummer, there goes the mystic element.

message 20: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) We found our house. That was cool. Talk about making a stalker's life a lot easier. I don't know if that's such a good thing.

message 21: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 23, 2009 01:07PM) (new)

Yeah, only 2 swimming pools in the street(Mwahhaaaa)

message 22: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) There aren't any pools on my street. Not the kind that you leave up in the winter anyway. There are a lot of trees. I still can't believe we saw my house, with the crappy yard and the ugly dying pine trees out front. I'm cutting those buggers down. The dust be damned.

message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, Mrs Miller. I saw 2 BIG puddles behind folks houses on your street. So there. Unless they had HUGE blue tarpaulines out drying on the back yard.
Have your pines been damaged?

message 24: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) Those photos were old, they probably took them out. NO, wait I know. The OTHER end of the street. Never mind.

One is damaged, they rigged it back together with a coat hanger, I kid you not. The tree appears to have grown around it some, but it looks terrible. The other two are dying in sympathy.

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Not at the crossroads. I assume you mean the tree had split and they used a wire hanger to pull it together again and the bark grew over the top of the wire?
We had big oak trees around us, but everyone was getting fed up with the dead birds and tree sap on their cars (murder to get off), leaves clogging the downpipes and way too much moss on the roof... They got chopped down. We reclaimed a lot more light in the house and sun in evening. The drainage problem got slightly worse, but we can cope with that. The roots were starting to affect the foundations of the house too. Specialists say the roots don't, but they bloody well do. They say if the root gets to something hard (foundation) it veers off in another direction. The thing the won't admit to, is that the root that is left beside the brick grows, hence pushing against the brick. It's rediculous that it's cheaper to cut down a tree than it is to crown it. These oaks were huge and only babies still.

message 26: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) When we bought our first house there was a huge old maple next to the driveway. We were there a week or so when we had a wind storm, huge gusts, and Kurt was just bringing the dog in when the entire house shook. I swear, I thought we were having an earthquake, and we don't get those here.

I ran outside, Kurt and the dog are still standing on the step, not five feet away is the maple, on top of our car. The car was flattened and the maple filled the driveway and half of the road. I took pictures, it was crazy.

These trees here aren't that big, but they could do damage to the house, and yes, the tree broke and the put it back together iwth a hanger.

message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Is there shallow earth where you live? Is it a topping of earth on rockbase? That would be a reason if the roots of the trees were not getting to burrow down for good purchase.

message 28: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) at our old house that was the problem. I don't think it is here. No trees have fell yet, I just wish they would.

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Torch the buggers!

message 30: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) Kurt doesn't like me setting things on fire. It makes him nervous. The fire department is right beside us for crying out loud. It's not like the whole house would burn down before they arrived.

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I know some women that would love to live next to the fire station. Mucky pups.

message 32: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) Yeah, if our firefighters were hot, I'd love it. They're okay, but nothing to start a fire over.

message 33: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Stone (laurenreads) | 23 comments awesome... i think every firefighter i have ever dated looks nothing like the ones in the calenders. yeah its kind of a disappointment. now my army boys, yummy. i've dated pretty much every branch of the military. just doing my part to support our troops i guess.

message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Maybe the fire station only uses the ugly ones to put out fires?

message 35: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) We only have about 15 or so of them. They have to send them all.

message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Ahh, so they are ALL ugly then?

message 37: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) Maybe not ugly, but type? Some are much older, to the point I worry about them holding that hose. Others are just, I've just known them too long to find them remotely attractive okay.

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Like the new pic.

message 39: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) Thank you, my daughter took it. Not bad for a ten year old, eh. She informed me the other one was too old and not very exciting.
Good thing I've got her looking out for me. I'd hate to be not exciting.

message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

You? Not exciting? Never!
The pic looks fine, but small. I can't make out it's you. Is there a bigger version? Not on your profile.

message 41: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) It hasn't come up on my profile yet. I suppose it takes a few days. I can see it in my account but that's all. If it doesn't come up today, I'll try again.

message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

Groovy baby. I look forward to it. You look "Pure dead posh" as they say in Glasgow.

message 43: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) I like that. I'll consider that for a pen name. Pure Dead Posh. Do you think it would catch on?

message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

It's most fitting. People might think you're related to Half Dead Beckham? It might be a good title for a story?

message 45: by P. (new)

P. (shimizusan) Wow. Never thought of using google earth like that. Setting is extremely important to my novel. Its historical and set in a rural village. Ive visited the place 3 times and lately went there with a local guide. Took lots of pics, but it isn't a place visible on google. Its now a ghost-village, no one lives there. My job is to ressurrect the place, rouse the silence. Its difficult but enjoyable. My advice: nothing beats actually seeing/ smelling/ feeling that place.

back to top