Writing about a location – Do you have to go there?

Do you invent locations? Use locations from your own experience?

Do you travel and research locations?

Share your tips and tricks with Don on his original blog post 😀

Author Don Massenzio

One of the most important aspects of your writing is the setting. You want to accomplish a couple of things when you write about a particular place. First, you want to give your reader a sense of the place you are writing about in a descriptive way that transports them there. There are books I have read that have made me feel that I was experiencing the place even if I hadn’t been there. One of my favorites, To Kill a Mockingbird, made me feel the humidity of Alabama. The Shining gave me a chill through Stephen King’s description of the unrelenting winter around the Overlook Hotel.

There are authors that excel at describing their surroundings. Dean Koontz is especially astute at describing indigenous vegetation in California, where many of his books are set. In his Odd Thomas series, the fictional California desert town of Pico Mundo comes to life…

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5 thoughts on “Writing about a location – Do you have to go there?

  1. It’s an interesting topic, Chris and Don. I do a ton of research for everything. Even so, if a location is truly significant to my story, I’m not comfortable using one in which I have not spent significant time (and I don’t mean weeks or months). I follow old advice, “Write what you know.” I do invent locations sometimes too, but if it is a fictional place within a real place (fictional city, real state), I still research the wider area, and at least have significant experience in the state.
    Others feel their research is so in-depth that they don’t need to have ever set foot in the state, let alone the town. I’m not passing judgement on that. They may well be right. I’m just describing my own comfort zone.
    Hugs all around!

    Liked by 2 people

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