Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Your WIP's Location... Been There?


Goodness… I took an unexpected week-long blogging break! Glad to be back. This past week I’ve beta’d 3 awesome MS’s for friends, continued querying my second project, and finished the first chapter for my new WIP. All great.

But what I want to ask you guys today is: Have you ever visited the setting where your story takes place?

Westridge, the story I’m querying, is a rehab facility that I based my last project on. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of driving through and visiting this facility. To prepare for the story, I took a lovely couple out for dinner that had a son admitted and interviewed them to get the scoop on what happened within the walls.


What’s crazy is that while I was visiting the facility, I saw and heard things I had put in my story that I hadn’t previously known: The way buildings were located, experiences I had written that were actually true... It made the whole event eerie, fascinating, and downright cool.

When I was there, I could see my characters… almost feel them breathing. It was a surreal, emotional experience... 

Has this happened to you? Have you visited a place you’ve written about after-the-fact? What was it like? Any uncanny experiences? I'd love to hear about it. And I hope things are all well on your end. I feel cheesy saying this, but meet your writing goal for today! I'm itching to dive back into my WIP.

Red. Head. Out. :D

***Oh! And thank you, Adam for the award on your blog! Every one go check out his site. He's hilarious. 

45 comments:

  1. Well, my book takes place in fantasy land ... so I WISH! lol. Mermaids, unicorns, trolls, dragons. Sigh, I totally wish I could see them, but for now, they'll have to live on in my head. It's neat-o that you had such an eerie experience though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm in the same boat as Tiana. The only way to get to my setting involves illegal narcotics.

      Delete
  2. My books take place in outer space and even if I could get there, I'm not yet ready for a trip on a rocket!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's really cool!

    I've visited a few places before I wrote about them. Of course, that's pretty impossible when I write my fantasy stories, though. Hehe!

    ReplyDelete
  4. My first book takes place around ancient Mexico City. I want to go see the ruins so bad!! Your experience sounds totally cool! I don't know that I'd call your break a break - sounds like you were really busy :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. A good portion of my book is based in London. I'm dying to go there. So awesome that you got the chance to that. Sounds like it was a blast!

    ReplyDelete
  6. How very cool! It's so weird when things like that happen!

    My book is based in L.A, but I've never been there. I need to go, in the name of research, of course! :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. I usually write places I've already been. I did have this one place I use in my MS for a huge fight scene that I haven't been back to since I wrote the scene that I'd really like to visit. I have a feeling I'd be able to feel my characters there.

    That is SO cool that things really did look like you pictures them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have spent a lot of time in Seattle recently. It has really helped me picture the places I'm writing about!

    Glad you had a busy week!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love visting the locations of my WIPS. When we visited my daughter on Kauai and went on a catamaran trip up the NaPali Coast I talked the poor captain's ear off. Unfortunately the content editor seems to think I asked the wrong qestions. lol dang

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've been on three trips to Israel so far and countless visits to Boston, so my storylines set in those places have more first-hand authenticity than if I were only going on research. My contemporary historical WIP also primarily takes place in Albany, NY, my hometown, and its surrounding cities, so it's exciting to write about streets and places I know very well. One storyline in my handwritten magnum opus also takes place in Denver, a city I've been to a couple of times and am looking forward to writing about more in-depth when the timeline gets to that point. And someday I would love to write something set in my native city of Pittsburgh, perhaps late 19th or early 20th century.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've only been to the places I write about BEFORE I've written about them. My current WIP, however, takes place in Sydney and New Zealand and I would love love love to visit there. One day...

    ReplyDelete
  12. With the emergence of Google Maps and now Google Street View it helps a lot of writers to write about places they haven't been/can't go to. But I don't think there's really any substitute for standing in those places yourself.

    I, like many other commenters here, write fantasy. All of my places are made up, so I could argue it either way - I haven't been there because it doesn't really exist, but I have been there in my head because that's the only place it exists.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Considering that all of my setting are in deep space, other worlds or recreation of our own. Nah. I'm about to start one, but man, trying to nail a real place I've never been to is tough. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Morgan! This has happened to me before. I love going on writers trips and visiting the locations of my stories. I had been writing a YA paranormal romance about a dancer and went to The Bottoms distrcit where the end of the story takes place. This is an area is beautifully old abanandoned brick buildings. While I was there I saw a ballerina in full costume having her pictures taken. !!! It made me feel stunned. This wasn't the only time either. I think when we are writing we are connecting to the universe, sending out a signal in a way, and the universe speaks back. :)

    Also, when can I read or beta read your work? Please oh please oh please :) theenchantedwriter(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Parts of my wip take place in Paris. I've been there before, but I still have a hole in my wip because I need to visit one more spot. Hopefully this summer I'll be able to get a train ticket and hit the capital for the day. (:

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey Lady! Wanted to let you know I've got an award for you on my blog. Don't freak, this isn't the, "What's your favorite toothpaste?" kind of award. Just me saying, "Hey, you rock the block to its socks." :)

    http://the-open-vein-ejwesley.blogspot.com/2012/05/bi-annual-me-post-awesome-people.html

    ReplyDelete
  17. My wips are always fictional towns because I strongly dislike the town I currently live in, and I'm not comfortable writing about a town I don't. lol Fiction just seems easier. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. that must have been so cool! i want to visit a plantatation again to see if i got it right

    and i'm ready for summer to have a little more writing time!

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm writing historical set in Houston, TX (1960s) and it would be so helpful to go there. I've done tons of research and bookmarked old maps, which is pretty incredible to do from a computer when you think about it. I've done google image searches to find photos of landmarks as they were in the '60s. Even though my story takes place 50 years ago, I'd still like to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Mine is made up, but I wish it was real :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. That sounds awesome, Morgan! :) I only have one real location in my books (so far), and it's a city I used to work in.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'd love to visit Cornell but meh...that would cost money not to mention vacation time from work.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hey:)

    Haven't done that yet, but thinking I should set something in Utah... I hear it's a nice place :)

    PS... glad you're liking the current series :)

    PPS... Look at you go... you're on Writing FIRE :) I love it :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. One of my stories STARTED with a place that I adore. The funny thing is that the scene with that spot in it, and the first scene I wrote, ended up being cut, lol. But yanno... it still got published. Just funny.

    ReplyDelete
  26. My setting's are made up, so I've only visited them in my head.

    You did have a busy week. Good luck with the querying and with the new WIP. :D

    ReplyDelete
  27. My settings are all made up mostly too, although Phobic was based largely off my great aunt's freaky house down in Riverton. Serious crazy happenings going on there. Like the door opening by itself thing in my book? ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
    Anyway, I'm feeling totally blahg-ed out lately, isn't that crazy? :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I tend to write setting based on places I've been that made an impact on me. I haven't yet written about a real location that I haven't been to. That must be such a cool feeling, walking around with your characters - makes me want to write about Hawaii or somewhere exotic just so I can go there and see if it happens to me :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yes, I've been to the place in Australia where my current book is set - the eerie and beautiful location sparked the book itself! Book 2 will take the protag to the USA, so I may have to jump on a plane hehe

    Wow that's amazing and valuable research for your WIP - to hear first-hand what happens within closed walls. It would give so much insight, and the fact that you could 'experience' your characters at that place shows your book has authenticity.

    ReplyDelete
  30. My WIP is Fantasy so the setting doesn't exist. However, there are scenes in New York, so I've gone to those areas to get a better feel of the place that the MC will be in. Other than that I've been a very bad writer and didn't work on my WIP. My focus was elsewhere. *hangs head in shame* I'll do better this week.

    ReplyDelete
  31. That is SO super cool that you had the opportunity to do that!! I bet it must have helped with setting the mood--how inspiring. :D

    Most of the places I write about take place in a fantasy world, but sometimes I'll see landscapes or something that will remind me of those places. :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. well, like some of the above, my first story is fantasy, and on another planet. But there are a few forest scenes and when I wrote those, I would go and sit in my back yard and face the trees, since I basically live in the woods- surrounded by trees. It helped me to focus on smells, the crisp air against my skin, the way the sun reflected off of certain surfaces and not others :)

    My current wip, is my memoirs, (narratively written), part of it takes places in VA. but then I spent a summer in Spain. I'm going off of a thirteen year old memory- I would love to revisit Spain to help my foggy mind with the details :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Funny you should ask. . .You know my answer, but I haven't been in the rainforest since I left over 16 years ago. I would love to go back and refresh those memories floating around, but it's different taking my young children there. I thought I was being paranoid about the kidnapping threat, but when my husband (who's from Ecuador and always tells me I over-react) told me it bothers him too, well, now I'm REALLY paranoid.

    ReplyDelete
  34. All of my settings are fictional :( But my WWII WIP is set in Poland, so I think if I ever went there it would be surreal!

    ReplyDelete
  35. My settings are fictional, but within the UK, so they have elements of real places. With my current book, I'm trying to get the essence of a home counties town, the sort of place I've been to, but a lot of the action takes place within a small flat. I'm terribly lazy when it comes to research which is probably why I've not used a real place yet!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sounds like a cool experience. I'm basing the setting of my latest project on a real place and I've been thinking about taking a visit there. But I'm trying to keep this one on the back burner while I finish my WIP. Although summer would be the perfect time to visit, so we'll see if I can hold off or if I give in.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I write fantasy, and visit my WIP's setting everyday when I write. I do have a couple places that inspired it though and think it would be awesome to visit those places in person!

    Great post, lady. Happy Writing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Mine is sort of backwards. I went to Paris before I wrote my first book. But when I wrote scenes or even read through them again, I definitely felt like I was there. Literally there! I'd like to make it to the setting of my WIP, but that will have to wait for a while. Darn that thing called money.

    But awesomeness that you were able to visit Westridge.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have uncanny experiences when I research. I'll write things into the book that actually work scary well when I do further research. I'd love to visit the settings of my books but they are all too far away. :)

    Also, I saw you on Andrea's RAOK post, congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I write about daily life in a family of 10...enough stuff goes on that the research is provided.
    but it has also opened my eyes to so may other things...the past 8 days I went to see my husband, who is a lawyer, in court. i have been thinking so much about what i witnessed..it may be to heavy stuff for my light posts...i can't decide...

    ReplyDelete
  41. I tend to write stories that are completely fictional including setting. That way I don't need to be 100% accurate ;)

    ReplyDelete
  42. That is so cool that you got to visit a similar location!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Some places, yes. Others no. I hadn't really thought about it until reading your post. Always love your posts! :)

    ReplyDelete

 
There was an error in this gadget

Search Away

Follow by Email

Site design by: The Blog Decorator