Research?

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Hope everyone enjoyed 10-10-10.

 

It’s time for a field trip. Luckily, in a few weeks, I’ll be in the town where part of Julia takes place. Just in time.

 

When I write, I can see the set, as it were, in my head. I walk through a house, office, etc with my characters when I describe their actions and surroundings. Describing the setting in great detail isn’t necessarily important to the reader’s understanding of the story, so while I know there is a metal umbrella bucket by the front door, I’ll leave it out since it has nothing to do with the plot or character development. And if I decide to change the blueprint or the wall color, no one knows but me.

This is all well and good when I’ve created a set in my head. But when I’m working with a public place that people could potentially drive by, I need to make sure that any details I give are real and exact.

Would you trust an author or narrator who described the White House as a nice Cape Cod with green shutters? Me either.

So, as I was writing a particular scene, I blocked it in my head with a generic set. As I began flushing scene out with descriptions, I was making it all up: high brick walls with wrought iron gate. It dawned on me that, perhaps, I should actually take a look at the place I was writing about.

I’m not writing about the White House, so a Google image search wasn’t going to show me a bagillion pictures of every angle that I could draw from. But the scene is set in a public enough place that I found a few pictures…just enough to let me know that my descriptions were way off.

So, it’s field trip time.

 

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