Thursday, April 29, 2010
There are a couple of places I need to get to this weekend that I haven't been to before, but I'm looking forward to it. The majority of the book is set in Big Sky, but some of it is set in West Yellowstone, so I'm heading down there to get some scenery research done. Here's what I mean by scenery research.
I've noticed that as I write my Scottish historical romances, I like to pick a specific place that really exists and write about that place. I like to see the vistas that my characters would have seen and let them sort of speak to me. Let them inspire me the way they would have inspired my characters.
I like to see them at different times of day, to see how they look/feel, because I notice those things in my current setting. When I'm looking out my window at 5:30pm, it looks different to me than it did at 5:30am, or at noon. The light illuminates different things, makes different shadows, hides different things and highlights different things.
When it snows, for instance, in Bozeman, I generally can't see the mountains. And it's common for a storm to move along the mountains, completely hiding the north side of the valley, along the Bridgers, but in my southern part of the valley, it's sunny and blue skies, along the Hyalites. I think that's important to know. Because I like my scenery to be part of the story, as well.
What about you? Do you do scenery research? Do you write about places you've been, or where you live? Can you tell if someone hasn't done their scenery research?