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Writer At Work: On Location

Whenever I go on vacation, I’m always, in a way, scouting for story locations. I say “in a way” because it’s not like I go out there thinking, must find cool place to set a story. More like, I’m wandering around minding my own business and a location grabs me and insists this place needs story!

Some day I’m going to write a novel set in Edinburgh. And Venice. (Probably not the same novel, but you never know.) Both were very grabby places.

So when I got a story idea last year that I knew had to be set some place with a somewhat unfamiliar mythology and at least one high-tech city, I was hopeful that I could use one of the places I’d already been to. China? Italy? *research research research*

Almost but not quite, the muse said. Japan fits best. Which is nice, because I’ve always wanted to visit Japan, but not so nice, because it is very very far away and I really do not think I can do it justice without having been there.

So the muse and I are compromising. I am going to attempt to write the rough draft of the Japan story this summer, with imagination and various research tools as my guide. And if it works out, well, I know where my next vacation’s going to be!

What places have you been to in your travels, that you think need a story or two? Are there any places you’d love to go to, so you could write about them (or just for fun, if you’re not writing-inclined)?

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Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
Venice was suuuuper story-able. I went on a walking tour and it was fascinating hearing about the water levels and the way society worked and how merchants organized their houses. Not to mention the whole petrified timber thing.
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
I loved the atmosphere there so much, and I found the Doge's Palace fascinating. Did you take the secret itinerary tour?
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)
Alas, didn't go to the Doge Palace. Mostly stayed on the "main island" aka 100-something islands.

No cars!
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
I think the Doge's Palace *is* on the main island... We didn't go off it at all, except getting to the airport when we were leaving. *checks* Yep, it's by St. Mark's Square. If you go again, you should definitely check it out!

And no cars was definitely a plus! :)
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
Ahhh, right. No, just outside. Inside St. Marco's, though.
Jun. 26th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
Watch some girly anime or skim through some manga! That might help a bit on the rough draft.

I've only ever been to Ireland (and Canada if you count Niagra Falls), but I've also wanted to do a story set in India. I have one storyline based on a dream I had once, but I'd be worried about writing it if I didn't immerse myself in the culture at some point beforehand.
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
Heh, yes, I've been watching anime (I had watched a fair bit already, but I specifically looked up some realistic school life types shows and stuff to study ;) ) as well as Japanese movies, and of course lots of books. India sounds like a fascinating place to set a story!
Jun. 26th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
Looking forward to it. Your sense of place is always awesome, especially in LUCY.
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm sure I will be knocking on your, er, e-mail inbox as soon as I have a readable draft. ;)
Jun. 26th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
beautiful pictures!
I too am *researching* for story locations :) In my WIP my agent wants more "exotic" Hmmm... your pictures got my brain spinning!
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
Oooh, exotic = fun! :D Hope you find a great one.
Jun. 26th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
Well, I've never really been anywhere outside the continental USA (and not many places IN the USA) so I'd love to go ANYWHERE! LOL

However, in my reading at work, I've seen many great places (Italy, France, London, Egypt, India, etc.) through Fran's descriptions. Yep, I'm a vicarious vacationer. ;-)

Those are some great pictures! So now I can live vicariously vacation through you too. hee hee hee
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)
Heh, thank you! I can only take credit for the first two pics--the Japan one I nicked from Google. Vicarious vacations can be a lot of fun, too!
Jun. 27th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
When I went to Toronto, it was so much like a city I had already written about...and that is really my favorite of all. Finding unexpected story-homes in places you thought would be strangers.
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
Interesting! Which story is this Toronto-like city in?
Jun. 28th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC)
Hmm...well, it's in My Dear Leslie, which is kind of shelved... It's the city in Arestin, the story world I've been writing about for 10+ years, where most of my characters live.
Jun. 28th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
Ah! I've heard you mention My Dear Leslie. Is Arestin in the Alfred and Olivia book, too?
Jun. 28th, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
Yep! But a different city, Sirian. Maybe I'll find its earthly counterpart someday too, but I bet it will be in Europe.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:24 am (UTC)
Yay! A success story. :D I am still waiting for my Edinburgh and Venice stories to decide what they want to be about.
Jun. 27th, 2009 05:45 am (UTC)
Japan sounds like a brilliant mix of old, new and futuristic - a great setting for a story :-)
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:24 am (UTC)
I hope so! And I hope I do it justice. :)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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Earth & Sky
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The Clouded Sky
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A Sky Unbroken
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Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
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Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
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Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
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Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
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self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
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Henry Holt, 2009

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