Or, actually... here.
|To put things into perspective, |
this is Earth from Voyager 1 in 1990.
Today I’ve got geography on the brain. I wonder if you are like me in thinking that where you're born (and where you live now) affects your writing.
I am from Detroit. I grew up here. I get the D. Granted, I don’t live downtown, but Detroit is the nearest metropolitan area, not to mention the skin crinkle on my hand to which I point when people ask where I’m from. I attended college there, which was a wonderful, formative experience, and worked for many years on automotive ads that symbolize the city and its peeps. Detroit seeps into my writing in sometimes subtle, sometimes glaring ways. Do you feel the same? Perhaps there are cities you’ve lived in that show up in your writing more than others? Let me know in comments, s’il vous plait.
|Not Imported From Detroit. Just set there.|
Similarly, I remember reading somewhere that Stephenie Meyer resorted to Google in her search for an atmosphere in which vampires could thrive. That's how she came up with Washington. Because of this, I'd argue that her depiction of the area is as soulless as the Cullens. In contrast, Debbie Macomber’s work (Yeah, Debbie, Linda Howard. I read romance. Wanna make something of it?) brings to life the majesty of the Pacific Northwest in her Cedar Cove series. Her love for the geography she's chosen for her characters shines out of every paper pore (or pixel for you ebook junkies).
I feel strongly that we must build our worlds on a firm foundation of reality if we are using a real-world locale. Take my advice. Don’t try to fudge it. The people who populate those actual places will end up feeling resentful, and that is hard to get around, no matter how good the story.