Do You Decide Setting Based on Where You Know or Where you Want To Go?

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the_kingdom_within_book_sculpture_by_wetcanvas

I have a bit of wanderlust.  Always have since I was very young and would read books set in far away lands.  I would love to travel the world – but I would settle for Europe.  Partly, because that was where my ancestors hailed from – Italy, Germany, Ireland, somewhere in Scandanavia . . . (yes, I am a mutt.) The funny thing is, I have been over seas a number of times but never visited those countries but did see some incredible other places.

Since I do not have any trips abroad planned soon, I tend to write what I know when building my worlds and choosing settings.  My books are primarily based in the Boston area, or at least New England.  And when I do use another location, its more of a backdrop than big part of the story since I don’t feel qualified to do the location justice.

ImageI am heading off to Chatham, MA today.  Chatham is located on the elbow of Cape Cod and it is my “happy place”.  It’s there that I get a lot of inspiration for my other passion, painting.  So, its no wonder that I have been toying with the idea of a book set there.  I have even named the story that is playing out in my head – Summer of The Yellow Umbrella.  I am thinking that in all the years I have been traveling to Chatham, I have only been there once in the winter (New Years Eve they hold the Cape’s version of First Night)  But I think I need to get the feel for other seasons when there are no tourists clogging the streets, when the town drops by half in population, and basically goes back to normal.  I need to plan another trip for this fall!

I wonder how many authors need to visit their settings to get the real flavor of the community?  How many can just pick a city that they are unfamiliar with because it works for their story and just write about the setting?  Or, how many are like me that only write about the area where they live and feel they know? 

And if you want to check out more really cool pictures of book sculptures by wetcanvas – see more on their deviantart page.

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About Lynn Ricci

A mother, author, artist and lover of dark chocolate, coffee, and the beach.
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