Thursday, January 25, 2007

Setting Up For The Workshop - Location & Research


Having sorted out my characters, which we all know is the main part of the story, I then moved onto Part Three Of The Workshop and:

Setting:

1/ Choose your settings and if possible gather some pics that you can use as samples

2/ Look at how you can use your setting to add to the story or bring forward conflicts

3/ List the possible scenes you might use in those settings

This part was the easiest part of this story, and probably why I’m looking forward to working on it so much… Because writing for the Romance line of late has been taking me into settings that almost become a little world of their own…

In Rescued: Mother-To-Be we had the story set in the fictional Inisfree, a small Stud Farm (add horses and it’s a comfy place for me to be) – in Bride Of The Emerald Isle we had the story set almost entirely on Valentia a tiny Island off the West Coast of Ireland ( a place I had visited for a while on one of my travels, so knew well and understood what it was like…) and here in Last Chance Family we have the fictional Brookfield, a large country estate (many of which I have been lucky enough to have worked on, lived by or visited…) – so I’m more than happy with the setting!!! It would appear this kind of thing is becoming *my thing*… I’m not suggesting that everyone should run out and do the same thing mind you – but it works for me…

And it also has the potential to be another *character* in the story, something I hope to exploit and yet still not allow to overshadow the crux of the story – which is – well, you know what I’m going to say here, right??? Thing is, Brookfield is a very large part of this story, so I’m gonna have to be careful… it’s the reason Terri and Kane have to spend time together, it’s what Terri will fight above all else to keep, and it’s also the one place that may cause them heartache along the way…

It’s also darned pretty and evocative….

There will however, also be some scenes set in Dublin – where Kane’s business is based… and thankfully as I came to Part Four Of The Workshop I had some help combining the things I needed to learn about Dublin and the subject of the workshop which was:

It's researching time:

1/ Look at the areas of your story that may require research - Medical conditions/historical facts/companies/amount of time taken to train for a job, etc.

2/ Get as much information as you feel you need to make the subject precise, correct and as real as possible.

3/ Replace real companies/song titles/ references to branded names with either generic terms or names you have made up yourself.

4/ Keep in mind all through your writing that these details should add to the overall story but should not distract from it...

I plan on keeping a lot of Kane and Terri’s work to the background as much as possible, because I know that Brookfield will take up a lot of the small space in my story allocated to background details… but I did want a flavour of Dublin and more particularly of Trinity College, where some of their past was tangled up – so that meant doing my research on there to add a little layering to it. And this proved quite timely as I had known I was making a trip to Dublin for a book launch party…

So I took advantage of the trip for research – which I’m blogging about over on Leena Hyatt’s Author Sound Relations Blog – so if you want to see how I went about that part of the Workshop then go take a peek! And you could also go take a look at Ally Blake’s notes on Inspiration as part of The Pink Heart Society’s FinDaBoo series here and what she talked about with regards location as part of her own Between The Sheets series on her Blog here.

So that’s my setting and my research taken care of – and it’s time to move onto the real work! I’ll be covering what I’ve done for Parts Five and Six of the workshop next…

5 comments:

Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

1/ Done.
2/ Will probably remain ongoing...
3/ Done.
4/ Ongoing...

As motivated as I am to continue with my visualisation for my setting etc., today won't be the day I do it.

I'm learning to recognise when I'm 'creatively' tired (as I am right now), so today will see me studying for my OU course *groan*. However, the thought of spending tomorrow on my wip is working as a very tempting carrot. :-D

Popping over to read about your research trip first though...

Sue :-)

Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

I've now read your other blog post, which was great. I have a question for you:

Do you ever use 'real' names for your fictional location or do you take your 'real' photos and put them into a fictional place?

Sue :-)

Trish said...

Sue - I do a combination of both... But I will admit I tend to shy away from very specific locations of where they live... For instance if I want my hero to be mega rich and I give a location where I have no idea of house prices then someone is bound to come back to me and say 'you dont have to be that rich to live here'...

So I skip over the real precision stuff - keeping in mind its a backdrop anyhoos - and when it comes to Cities and Counties and Countries, I'll name them - cos readers are very intelligent folks and even saying Dublin will conjure up an image in their minds... Does that make sense???

Smaller villages or streets that I want more detailed images of I will create in my head - like my fictional village of Killyduff... I can do a lot with it then, cos it doesnt exist - but i do need to be mindful as I use it more of making sure I know where everything in the village is.... Not quite needing to draw a map yet - but hey - maybe one day ;)

Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

Thanks Trish. Yep, it does make sense :-).

Sue :-)

Jennifer Y. said...

I loved your post on the Author Sound Relations Blog.