Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Top 3 Resources for Setting
1. Google Maps: So this is kind of an obvious one, but maybe its the most useful. You can get a close up picture of anywhere in the world, and in many places Street View lets you see as if you were standing right there on the road. The novel I'm working on is a bit of a road-trip novel, and it has been really helpful to be able to use Google Maps to sort of chart the trip and take it with my characters, and see exactly what they're seeing all along the way.
2. Pinterest: There are so, so many ways to use Pinterest. As a collection place for images, it is a natural resource for not just setting, but characters and any other creatively inspiring images you want to keep track of. But for setting specifically, you can collect images of the specific place you're using in your novel, or, how I like to do it, make a general "setting" board and collect intriguing images of places you might want to use later on. Here's my setting board to maybe get you started. Any of these places seem especially interesting to you?
3. Atlas Obscura: This is one of my favorite things on the internet. I could seriously sit for hours clicking through the "random place" button, over and over, seeing how many weird and interesting places there are all over the globe. Maybe your story isn't as crazy as some of these places, or maybe you don't want to set an entire novel in somewhere like the real life Flinstones Bedrock City, but it could sure add some yabba dabba doo! Okay, sorry, that was dumb :)
Anyway, those are the places I like to play when I'm trying to flesh out the setting for my novel. Do you guys use these too? What other resources do you like to use for helping with setting?