Location Location Location

Where you most of your stories take place?

Lately, I’ve been drawn to my old stomping ground of Atlanta.  In fact, I’ve set one of my urban fantasy series there.  There’s something about the ATL that I miss very much, so this is my way of recapturing it.  Of course, it helps that I’ll be attenting both DragonCon and Moonlight & Magnolias, which means I’ll probably make a research trip out of it, too.  😉 

The only story I’ve written that takes place in North Carolina in the Triangle Area is UNSTABLE ENVIRONMENT.  It’s sequel, THE HIVE, starts out in NC, but then it travels to the Tennessee Mountains.  I haven’t traveled to those mountains in a long time, but I still remember the beauty.  Needless to say, that also left a sweet impression on me.  However, I found out that writing about a fictious town wasn’t too different from writing about a real one.  The outline I’m putting together for the third book in my werecheetah series will take place in Charlotte.  In the six years that I’ve lived here, I guess it’s about time I visited there instead of “just driving through.”  I’m also setting my sights on Wilmington.

STRIPPED and HOLLOW PLAYGROUND are children of Boston.  There’s something about that city that reeks of history, which is better than any stupid Social Studies book could offer.  In fact, maybe I wouldn’t taken that class more seriously had we taken a field trip there.  During my time there, I spent about 6 weeks in the Weston across the street from Copley Square because I couldn’t find an apartment.  When I did, one of my favorite stops on a boring, draining ride back and forth to work was the look and feel of South Station.  Gosh, I love that place.  I especially loved the book store where I had picked up a magazine or two.  It was my time in Boston where I discovered my love for books and the written word.  That was where I decided to embark on my writing career.

I don’t know about anyone else, but one of the first things I need to lay down when I’m writing a story is the location.  I ask myself, “What city is this book a good fit for?”  If I had a choice, I’d love to set stories in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, LA, and DC.  Whether or not I’ll ever get there is another story. 

What locations play a part in your stories and why?


16 thoughts on “Location Location Location

  1. Mhm, I don’t knwo what to answer really. So far in my short stories location was limited to a house or something like that. But when I think about it…

    In “Grey Stilettos” I chose Seattle for the rain/depression and the force of the city to reflect upon onself and then Paris for the uncensored sex/perversion.

    In “Forged in Blood”, my first Uf novel, I move from a small town and then Morganville I think to NYC to illustrate how the story progresses from something small and inconsequent toa conspiracy.

    In “Music Box of Birch and Innocence” I have NYC again, but for the culture gig and how it can regress into a sort of steampunk Greek Baroque after a magic apocalypse.

    But I never really do think consciously about location…

  2. Mine tend to be in Wisconsin, but I’ve also used New Jersey and a fictional city in California. My wip one is mostly in a fictional Kentucky town, with scenes in Madison, WI, and another planet.

    Place is important to me, too. With my wip, I drew a map of the town, with street names and stores. Then I put people in the stores. I’m planning this to be a continuing series with stand-alone stories, and the others might be in this town, so it’s important to get it right.

  3. Hey Marcia,

    Can’t wait to see you at M&M. I’ve thought about going to Dragon Con again (went a few years back and loved it), but that will depend on the finances at that time.

    Most of my past WIPs have been located in the small towns around my hometown in Wyoming. I guess we do tend to write about what we know. I’ve noticed a trend that past couple of story ideas I’ve written down that they are all set in Georgia. So I guess after 5 years, I’m starting to feel more like I’m home…grin…


  4. Ah, Harry, I wish I didn’t have to think about location. You’ve got an interesting pick of places, too.

    By the way, the steampunk WIP sounds really interesting. 😉

  5. Edie, I always find it fascinating when people draw up maps for the points of interest with regards to their story. I’ve tried it, but I found it works out better in my head and I suck at drawing.

    Kudos to you for putting your stories in WI. I have the hardest time with a story that takes place where I’m currently living. I fought like crazy to keep Unstable Environment here in NC. The only reason why I did that was because I really wanted something situtated in my hometown.

  6. Tamiiiiiiiiiiii! 😀 It would be so awesome to catch you at both M&M and DragonCon. Are you kidding me? We’d have a blast!

    I didn’t know you were from Wyoming. For some reason, I thought you were born and raised in GA. And I know what you mean by that “feeling like home.” I think that’s why I write about Atlanta. I miss it.

  7. I’m a traveler, love nothing better than seeing a place I’ve never been before. Setting is always first. I love to set my stories in places I’ve traveled to. The more exotic the better. Although lately I’ve been thinking that maybe home is as exotic as afar. Interestingly enough my first book was set on home turf – is that full circle?

    And yes I have drawn maps and in one case made up a non-existent waterfall. Is that creative license?

    I’m drooling over the names of places you were listing Marcia and I’ve never been. They’re on the list.

  8. My current Epic originated in the Bronx, but as I dug into re-vamping it, it’s moving to Buffalo. At least it starts with a “B” right?I mean, I could have moved it to Baldwinsville, LOL.

    The more I write, the more I believe that it’s best to use a location I know something about, and also fitting the storyline. I’ve been to the Bronx, but it’s just not as funny as Buffalo. Yet, I won’t limit myself to writing what I “know” because it’s a great excuse to finding out – digging in and researching.

  9. I’ve travelled quite a bit in my life, but most of my novels take place in and around Orlando and Central Florida. I’m pretty sure its due to the fact that I live here and it is just easier that way. 🙂

    I started a book about six months ago that is set in Jamaica. I’m from there and love everything about the island. Reading your post makes me want to dig it out and finish it. LOL

  10. Most of mine are set in Manhattan. Or they are about New Yorkers living somewhere else and feeling out of their element.

    I notice now, when I go “home” to NY how it feels so much like “home” even though I have lived all sorts of different places.

  11. Ryshia, I absolutely LOVE your website. I love seeing the pictures of the places you’ve been and what you’ve seen. There’s no mistaken you’re definitely a traveler. Maybe I’ll come full circle and actually write about my hometown of Utica, NY. Well…maybe. One of these days we’re going to have to sit down and compare notes. 😉

  12. Kath, one good thing about writing it in Buffalo is it’s a location that very few people know about. I remember I read somewhere an agent said she’d like to see stories take place in locales that are unfamiliar to most people. Something specific to the region seems to give stories that little bit of seasoning that readers like. I know I’d read it regardless of where you set it. 😀

  13. Oh, Abigail! I’ve only been to Jamaica once and I know exactly why you love it. It’s a BEAUTIFUL island. One of these days I’m going to get back there, too. 😉

    As many times as I’ve been to Orlando (about ten), I’ve never been able to set a story there. Why, I don’t know. I think I have/had about three stories I started there, but left them unfinished. And the crazy thing is I love Orlando. My mom and I do our annual Mother-Daughter Disney trip there.

  14. Erica, I feel the same way about Utica. I’ve lived so many different places and have traveled so much that when I go back “home” it really feels like home.

    I love NY. The city is just so awesome. I’ve thought about setting stories there, but for some reason I’m worried that I just won’t do it justice. It’s not like there’s anything to stop me either because I have friends who live there who can give me the lowdown. 🙂

  15. Hey Marcia, mine are all set in fictional TN towns. I was born in ARK, raised in the midwest, and now in TN for eleven or so years. The south suits me and my stories. Amazingly, before moving here I could never get the right feel for the stories I wanted to tell. After we moved, I dug in and started writing the longer WF novels that I always wanted to write. I no longer had trouble with location, I felt like I was home again. I do have a novel set in ARK, and it’s one of my favorites. That will be one I’ll eventually go back and revise or rewrite, whatever it needs. 🙂 But as far as location, it’ll be southern locals all the way for me!

  16. LaDonna, I know how you feel about the southern towns. 😉 The only difference is I love the big cities like Atlanta. Arkansas is a wonderful state. I’ve only been to Little Rock, but the people and the hospitality was amazing. That’s the one thing I adore about the midwest. The people make you feel like you’re home.

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