Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Real or Fake? What's your take?

When I was a teenager, I loved to read. I hung my clothes (or threw them on the floor in my closest, but shh!) so I could organize my books in my dresser drawers. My books were my treasures. One of my favorite authors was V.C Andrews. I started reading her books when I was just 12 or so. She wrote fascinating scenes set in Louisiana. I wanted to visit the bayous she wrote about. I still haven’t been there but I will some day… all because I read about it so many times in her book.

It got me thinking about the places I write about. I prefer to use fictional towns. I get to use my imagination for the most part with sprinkles of facts here and there. What I want (or my characters!) goes where I say in my town. I get to choose most aspects about my town I make up from the small things like what type of businesses they have to the type of people there.

Here’s a sneak peak of Alban, Oregon from Jesse’s Brother:

“The pedestrians of Alban fanned themselves while darting into the comfort of air conditioning in the stores they visited. Children walked down the sidewalk holding adult hands on one side with dripping ice cream cones in the other. Melted ice cream left stains all over their faces and shirts. This is heaven, thought Samantha as she and Noah drove down Main Street. Alban is the perfect place to live.”

~Jesse’s Brother, Sept. 21st, 2009

But what’s good about setting the novels in real places? A lot. I love traveling and it gives me a good reason to visit new places. All in the name of research, right? By writing about real places I have lived or visited (or want to!), I get to revisit those places each time I read my novel. I lived in Portland, Oregon and missed it greatly while writing Jesse’s Brother. Guess where Samantha got to visit for the first time? You guessed it correctly if you said Portland. I got to revisit my favorite places as I wrote about her trip there.

So I ask you: has a writer ever inspired you to visit a place? Do you prefer real reading about real places or fictional towns?


Sierra Wolfe said...

V.C. Andrews was probably the first author that I fell in love with her books. I read them over and over again.

I usually write about fictional towns. It's easier that way to do what I want with the town insead of having to follow the real setup. I like reading about real or fictional towns in books. Either way is fine with me. It's more about the characters than the setting, at least to me.

Wendy_Ely said...

V.C Andrew inspired me to write. My daughter started reading her books this year.

Anonymous said...

Fiction, based on a real place is cool...

Elle Parker said...

I like both - It's fun to read about a place you know, especially if it's done well, but there are times when it feels more escapist to read about someplace you know doesn't exist.

Elle Parker

Anonymous said...

No. Am I the odd one out? LOL

Actually painters have had that effect on me. I have always wanted to see Monet's garden,


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