Friday, April 5, 2013

Storyteller's Journey

A Familiar Setting

It has been said to aspiring authors: "Write what you know." If that is true, then I am definitely on the right track...




The above photo of the historic hatchery just down our rural road is not only in my middle grade novel, but in my memory: I remember riding my bicycle to this destination in the fifth grade with my Camp Fire Group. (Since we here in the Pacific Northwest had some decent weather recently, I decided to take a few photos. The second book in my proposed MG series also takes place along this country lane!)


Down the road a bit is Mimsi Marsh. This murky marsh also found its way into my middle grade manuscript.  Including the setting descriptions of familiar places not only added texture to my story, but I'm hoping, believability.


My protagonist actually rides her bicycle down the road to visit the grave of her deceased mother, buried in this cemetery. It was established in 1852 and contains the remains of many prominent founding fathers of our town.


This is the school I attended in junior high. Back then its name was Shumway Junior High School; since then it has become a private school for the arts. In my novel, the school is called: Chilcott's Academy of Creativity.

It has been fun to use some local sites in my own hometown as a setting for my story. However, in my middle grade novel I did change the name of our city, for various reasons. And, like many writers, I took a bit of liberty with the accuracy of the details in regard to my setting.

How do you develop the settings for your stories? Any familiar sites?


6 comments:

  1. How neat that your hometown has plenty of settings for story inspiration!

    Since my stories take place in areas different from where I live right now, I develop my settings by doing research. I usually browse through travel magazines and websites.

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    1. Since I know you a bit from your blog, I know that you are familiar with various locations due to your family's moves. ^_^

      I also did some research for a trip my protagonist takes to England...that was great fun!

      Have a great weekend!

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  2. Love the pictures that personalize your setting. I've never written about a place I know, though aspects of places I've been may have played a part. (adding a creek or a specific layout of trees)

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    1. Thanks, Sara. Like many people I've always thought of my hometown as pretty ordinary. However, since tweaking the sites for my story, I see our town in a whole new light. Have a great weekend!

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  3. I use photos, e.g. of a house, and daydream about how the surrounds might look. I never underestimate this power tool. Daydreaming is limitless.

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    1. Daydreaming and imagining are definitely tools of our trade! ^_^ Have a great weekend, Debbie.

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