Monday, April 4, 2011

Cities Ripe For Your Book - "C"


C is for Cities that make great settings for novels.

My Uncle Pat is always sending me bizarre and oddly humorous emails. You know the type.  Subjects like, 10 Thing You Never Knew About Sloths, or How To Build Your Own Vacuum Molder From Household Parts, that type of thing. Every so often though, he sends me things that are helpful to me as writer.


This was particularly helpful when writing my last WIP, where there was a hurricane. I made up the town, but used this information to find a similar city on Google Earth for pictures and landscape details.

Want a city sure to produce a violent tornado? Try writing about a family living in Oklahoma. Kansas has the most tornadoes, but a higher percentage of the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma are big ones.

Writing a flood story or want a torrential rain as an integral part of your plot? Did you know that Miami receives more rainfall per year than Seattle? Did you know that New York does too? Although it is cloudy an average of 227 days a year, the rainfall isn't the highest.


For those of you outside the U.S. click here for information on European weather anomalies.

All this to say that a little research can open up possibilities you may not be aware of. Not to mention, you just might be as popular as I am at cocktail parties. 


Special thank you to the April A-Z Blogging Challenge for making this post both possible and required.


Until next time...Go Write!

24 comments:

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I've been doing research on Venice, its crimes, its ghosts, its history. I am plotting a Samuel McCord novel there set in the mid 1920's. Nazi's, vampires, and Elder Gods from the Other Side, oh my!

Loved your post, Roland

Angeline said...

Great post for 'C'. I live in the middle of the country and find writing cities quite hard. Mind you, I write fantasy, so I get to make up everything about any cities I write about, so I guess I get to cheat a little. It's funny where inspiration unexpectedly comes from, isn't it?

Donna Weaver said...

Love your post. I chose a town for the location of part of one of my books and then had the chance to visit it. Loved it and made some changes based upon reality.

Nas Dean said...

Great post! I love reading and researching about all the different Cities out there!

Niki said...

I love the names of the country villages in the UK. They would make good names for my goblins :)

Ellie said...

Awesome post. I always use google to find images to inspire my made up towns or cities.

Ellie Garratt

salarsenッ said...

Great point. Sometimes finding an interesting fact about a city or an out-of-the-way town can jolt a story out of nothingness.

Tessa Conte said...

Weather is important, facts even more so, and it's suprising how much you can find out with google (earth or otherwise) ; )

It's the little consistencies and truths you add to your story that make the setting great, I think. God help you if you get them wrong, though, because readers do notice, and nothing is worse than wrong facts that could easily have been fixed.

Jessica Bell said...

Interesting stuff. Want some crazy whether? Check out Northern Queensland. I'm not saying that due to the recent floods, but they have cyclones eveery single year!

Clarissa Draper said...

That's an awesome link to have. I'm going to use it. Especially the international one.

Katie Mills said...

that IS a really neat idea!

Mara Nash said...

Research makes me cringe (another C-word). Although I love it because it's so fascinating to learn new stuff, avoiding research is one of the best reasons to write fantasy and/or sci-fi. Instead of real info, you just make it all up!

I am, however, determined to force myself to someday write something based (at least somewhat) in reality and that will require said research. That will be a challenge (yet another c-word).

Laura Marcella said...

This is a fun post! I love knowing trivia like this.

Hannah Kincade said...

hmm, I never thought about that. Thanks!

Karen Sanders said...

Thanks for the info, very useful!

Participant in the A-Z Blogging Challenge, also blogging at:
http://atimetoshine.wordpress.com/
http://www.karensandersfreelancing.com/blog.html

Ann Best said...

Great information. There's so much one can find on the Internet, about anything. It's a vast resource for writers.

Excellent post. And a beautiful blog, Raquel. I keep trying to make mine look as awesome as yours and some other bloggers. But I'm not that technology smart!

And now I see that your first book is being released. I'm SO excited for you! I'm bookmarking this page so I won't miss out on what's happening.
Ann Best, Long Journey Home

Cruella Collett said...

Excellent post! Setting is so important to get the right "feel" in a book, and many authors definitely could use some of your tips to improve their descriptions. I'll be bookmarking this site :)

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Using many Welsh towns for their weather patterns would just result in rain, rain and more rain, hehe. Thanks for the tips though. I tend to go for areas within a valley for my story ideas :)

Eric W. Trant said...

It's fun to visit places even in your head. The setting can make or break the story.

Be sure to keep it real, though. My mom uses the example of a romance she read where the woman flew into Houston marveling at the mountains behind the cityscape.

Houston is as flat as a plate. You can see fourteen miles in any direction.


- Eric

TRR said...

And thus I've satisfied my daily "Learn At Least One Thing a Day" quota ;-) Great post!

Alison Miller said...

Great post - I've set most of my stories in North Carolina - where pretty much every weather anomaly happens. This was neat!

Kari Marie said...

My settings are one of the weaknesses I need to correct in revision. Perhaps some research is in my future. :)

Jo Schaffer said...

I love researching cities for my stories. There are so many cool random facts to learn that always feed the plot. The setting is sort of like a character--so important to the story.

Jingle said...

your post is so thoughtful..

have fun.
bless you.