I’ve read several blog posts recently where authors have taken road trips in search of locations that mimic parts of their novels. They want to get a feel for the real environment. They want to awaken their senses so they can incorporate them in between the lines of what they write. One author recently went on a trip to a peach orchard because her characters pick peaches in her novel. Another walked the streets of a big city at night to experience the ‘fear’ factor. I, personally, have taken fencing classes and even trained for about an hour with a ‘knight’ from our local Renaissance Festival so I could get a true understanding of how difficult it is to wield a broadsword.
But what do you do if you’re not a traveler? How do you tap into your senses to write true to life fiction?
For me, I escape in books, especially ones that address what I’m working on at the moment in my own writing. If I’m working on a fight scene, I’ll consult George R.R. Martin or Raymond Feist. If I’m looking for YA romance, I’ll hit up Nicholas Sparks or Myra McEntire. If I want dystopian, who else to turn to than Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Stephanie DeStefano? As for fantasy? Without a doubt, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, Cassandra Clare, Martha Wells, Julie Kagawa and J. K. Rowling hold the keys.
What about you? Where do you travel to find the umph needed to awaken your senses and write true to life settings?
- Forbes richest authors list 2012: James Patterson takes the crown (guardian.co.uk)
- Attention All Nicholas Sparks Fans (sebastiancoleauthor.com)
- Why You Should Attend Texas Renaissance Festival 2012 (lockergnome.com)
- Family Travels/Teach Me: Huntsville, AL Homes with Character (vintageindie.typepad.com)