Sure, location may be the most important factor for realtors and homeowners.
It’s also a major concern for writers, yet most don’t have the luxury of working on location.
Instead, they do the majority of their work at home, using a variety of research techniques to make specific locales come alive for their audiences.
Here’s how to uncover those special details that let readers know you’ve been to the places you’re writing about—even if you haven’t!
Lisa Harkrader lives in a small town in Kansas.
When she was writing a novel set in the Australian outback, she needed to find out how to throw a nonreturning boomerang.
She couldn’t just take off for Down Under.
Instead, Harkrader traveled the Internet.
She located a website for a company in Australia that sells boomerangs.
Location, Location, Location: Researching Place (Part 2)
In my post last month, I presented several ways to find information about any location.
It’s important to research location because even if you’re writing a novel that takes place in Maine (and not a true story) you still have to get the facts correct about Maine.
One of the ways to research location is to obtain materials about a specific location online (read last month’s post here to see what I mean).
But don’t forget about the resources at libraries.
Besides local public libraries, college and university libraries offer a wealth of materials.
Many have extensive archives of national magazines that include articles about locations all over the world.
These magazines, old and new, often contain detailed photographs that can be immeasurably helpful for writers who need to see what a city or town looked like years ago or how it appears today.
Location, Location, Location: Researching Place (Part 3)
Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, you need to get the facts correct when it comes to the location where your story or article will take place.
In this month’s post about location (read Part 1 and Part 2 of this post for more tips about researching location), you’ll learn how to travel to locations in the past and how to capture the essence of a specific location even if you have never been there.
Travel the Past
Writers can’t actually travel back in time to see what a location was like long ago.
Or can they?
Never underestimate the power of museums.
When Suzanne Hilton was researching her book The Way It was—1876, she found a way to see how the World’s Fair in Philadelphia would have looked that year.