The locations used in a book can make or break the story. Sometimes, the decision of where to set a book is easy because the author wants to write about something that happens in a particular place. But when the author wants to write about the wonder of travel, there’s literally a world of possibilities. There are also a lot of factors to be considered.
Planning the research trip for my next book, I have made a list of possible destinations. The list was quite long to begin with, but I also needed to factor in the budget, which has whittled down the number of options significantly!
The last two books were set in places very far from where I live, so this one needs to be a little closer to home. This is not a problem at all because I have readers in different countries. What I think of as exotic locations are not necessarily the same sort of places you might be interested in reading about.
As well as being somewhere most of my readers aren’t familiar with, the location needs to allow for elements of the story I already know I want to include.
My location wish-list
- An abundance of history
- A main language other than English
- Landmarks or interesting architecture
- Geographical features that have contributed to the culture
- Distinctive cuisine
- Arts or crafts the region is known for
- Preferably some indigenous wildlife
- And, of course, traditional stories
This is a challenging task but if I get this decision right, these elements will guide the story, making the book easier to write, so it’s worth making the effort now. Just looking at all the wonderful possibilities is inspiring so many ideas. I can’t wait to discover somewhere new!
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