Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Home is what you make it

I have a follower!  And it's my sister.  Family's awesome.  They're the only people, I think, who we talk smack to their face and praise behind their backs.  At least that's how it works in my family.  Compliment each other, what foreign speak is this?

I've been thinking about locations.  Location in writing, in a fictionalized story can take on the role of a secondary character if done well.  You basically have two choices: set your story some place real or make one up.  The advantage to using an actual location is somewhere, well, that where, there will be people who will feel an instant connection to your tale because they, too, are from said place.  And you've made their home a little more magical by choosing it for your story.  But you really have to know this place, get the facts and details correct or you could make enemies of those same people.

Then there is the created setting and with that, you have total control.  You can make it up as you go along and are not beholden to whether the Quick-E Mart was on the left side of Main Street or the right, the high school could have any mascot of your choosing, the seasons could be anything, get the picture.  But with that, you really have to define everything or your reader will have a hard time picturing it and who wants their characters walking around in a white mind void?

So far, I've done both.  Always Me is set in an unnamed town in Southern Arkansas that bears great similarity to Arkadelphia, AR.  Another book is set in Venice, another-my hometown, Kingwood, TX, and then there's the book I'm working on, planning to publish next, that's set in North Carolina.  Again, unnamed town, but everything around it is real and I have to rely on Google Maps and other people to get the details.  I don't really know which is better, but I know using what I'm familiar with is a lot easier.  I guess once I've published enough, you can decide the winner.

Speaking of that book, I really should be working on it, rather than blogging, but I'm in the process of changing the whole thing, right down to the title.  Going from first perspective to third is a daunting task and so anything to distract me is welcomed.  But of course YOU'VE GOT MAIL is on and why is that a distraction for me??

Anyway, back to it.


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