Settings and Travel Destinations
First, Happy Mother’s Day! This blog is late because I spent yesterday travelling to visit my parents. The drive gave me time to think about settings, and travel.
I’m reading Chuck Wendig‘s book, 500 Ways to Write Harder. In it, he has a chapter dedicated to travel’s importance in writing. If “Write What You Know” is important enough that even non-writers have heard it, then getting to know the setting for a book is just as important as nailing the character details.
I will be travelling to one of my settings this summer. I’m a little leery about it. What if my idea of Shaw’s Cove is completely wrong? If it’s a trash-filled beach instead of the pristine environment I’ve created, I’m going to cry. (And then Robbie is going to take a trash bag from behind the seat of his red Chevy truck and they are going to comb the fictional beach for trash.)
To go along with writing what I know about a setting, I should venture to Seattle this year, to The Hurricane Cafe. I chose the diner as a setting based on its unique look (Google Images) and hometown feel (Yelp Review), to counter the boring repetition of Starbucks. But what if the cab ride there would take so long that Drexel would pull his hair out in frustration? What if locals would never suggest anyone eat there, ever? What if I should just follow the Stephen King school of thought and make shit up, rather than pick real places?
Until last year’s trip to YaoiCon, my idea of travel was watching The Amazing Race. There was no way you would get me on a plane by myself, unless it was for work. Well, writing is a form of work, and the career I wish to pursue. That includes experiencing my far-away settings, rather than just winging it from episodes of The Real World.
Who wants to join me on a trip to Seattle? Better yet, who can give me a virtual tour of The Hurricane Cafe from my couch?