Authors Note: Flashback Friday is where I go through old posts from my blog, some of which were published a while ago, some of which maybe were never published and some of which were pulled later and have since been edited.
Depending on who you ask, researching the setting for your novel can be one of the biggest challenges any writer will face especially if you don’t actually live where your book is set. It’s relatively easy to craft our own worlds completely form our minds, even though we’ve never been there because that’s what we as writers do, staying true to a city that you have never been to however can be tricky.
Thankfully because of the internet there’s a million and one resources that can help writers with regards to novel setting, I personally employ Google Maps Street View whenever I can, to get a sense of where things are in relation to where my characters live or are currently visiting. Granted you can easily create your own places within real cities, but in order to give your reader a better understanding of the terrain more often than not a little research about the general layout of the city or country may be essential.
Interestingly this is more often than not one of my favorite parts of the process, I’ve often found myself spending hours that I had previously hoped to spend writing, simply researching various elements for a novel, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if your not particularly vigilant, research has a habit of taking over writing time.
Just out of curiosity, because I always enjoy hearing from other writers, which is easier, creating your own world or using real places as backdrops for your novel?