Thursday, April 7, 2011
Research: Up Close And Personal
I know authors who travel to Scotland or Ireland for inspiration when writing historical novels set in those wonderful places. Others spend vacations in cities like New Orleans, New York, or San Francisco to gain insight while writing urban fantasy.
I'm not claiming you need to visit a location to write about it. There are other ways to learn the particulars of a place. Books, videos, travel guides, and internet sites contain a plethora of information.
Visit a place. See the people. Hear the sounds. Smell the scents. Taste the flavors. Touch the very fabric of the place. Close your eyes and allow the essence to seep into your bones. Your creativity will soar.
For my paranormal Sea Panther, the initial inspiration came from viewing the movie Pirates of the Caribbean and from reading the book The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodward. The plot morphed after I visited several port towns along the Atlantic coast including Annapolis and St. Mary's City, GA. Places where my hero and heroine stop as they sail south, along the coast.
Sea Panther's plot morphed again when I took a trip to the Florida everglades. Some scenes take place in a South Florida swamp. On my recent trip to Florida, I got up close and personal with some of the critters that make an appearance in my story--small deer, armadillos, snakes and...yeah...an alligator. Unfortunately, the ever-elusive Florida panther remained hidden.
The story is mostly finished now. Just a bit more polishing. I didn't get to visit Jamaica where some scenes take place, but I watched video travel guides and read about the colorful place. Maybe I'll visit while writing the sequel.
What locations have you visited and included in your stories?
Dawn Marie Hamilton
Visit me at Castles and Guns every other Tuesday starting May 10.