I have found that the best way to bring a sense of place to readers is through research. The characters may be fictitious, but the reality of location makes the story more interesting and believable.
Many people enjoy reading novels that are set in places they visit. I am one of them. In my youth, I read about the ancient Minoan civilization on the island of Crete. The story stoked my desire to see the place for myself. When I visited the ancient ruins, it was like enjoying an impressionist painting. The structural foundation was there, and my knowledge completed the picture.
Much of the action in the first volume of my Benny Goldfarb, Private “I” series takes place in Colombia. I researched the locations, the history, the culture, and the food. The next year, after the book’s publication, my wife and I had the good fortune to visit Cartagena. We hired a driver to take us on a tour of the city, stopping at places described in the book. He heard me informing my wife, in detail, about the sites. “You have been here before?” he asked. I explained that I was an author. My mind had been here before. This was the first time for my body.
A story can be more than a story. It can morph into a three-dimensional experience that comes alive when you visit the setting—but only if the writer’s research is woven into the tale’s fabric.
Chat with Authors
As a boy I read Somerset Maugham... I imagined myself on a hill in the Mediterranean writing a great novel... I do write on a...
My adolescent years were lonely, and I felt utterly bored with the world. I didn’t like to deal with drama the other girls my age...
Topics, events and situations which shaped, influenced and molded my perceptions is what makes me write and what moves me as an author.
My grandfather. For as long as I can remember, my Papa has told stories. I knew I wanted to tell stories too, just like my...
I started writing down the stories I imagined while trying to fall asleep each night. You see, I developed insomnia due to my stressful work...
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