I have been doing some work this week on location, in particular the location for my longer piece. I need to think of a working title for this but will just refer to it as my WIP. This is not to be confused with the two children's stories I have started and all of a sudden moved away from as I have got carried away with this idea! I will get back to them one day though!
I have realised my 'teacherness' is coming out as I learn more about writing. I am a teacher, I need to plan. I need to learn. I read up on things before I start writing anything. I need notebooks and post its and pens. I kind of like this about me as a writer. I do worry though that I am putting off actual writing of my WIP as I am TERRIFIED! What if it is no good? What if it doesn't come out the way I am intending? What if I tell the story in a page and have no where else to go? Anyway, you will no doubt hear all about this in the coming weeks so I will get back to the point of my post.
I have been toying with where to set my story. I live in a seaside town in Devon and whilst I don't want to write about my particular town, I want to write about a town. With a city nearby. London will appear at some point because I love London when I visit but I don't feel I can write as someone who lives there.
Now, in terms of the town I am thinking of making one up. One that has the characteristics that anyone who knows Devon and its towns will recognise but in this way I am free from details and facts. There is also a bit of scope for artistic license with the history of the place which would be fun to make up. I drew a map, it is a wonder to behold. Not really, I can't draw for toffee. But I know how it looks.
My plan is to use aspects of the places I know mashed together to create a new town. I did read somewhere (in my 'learning phase'!) that a problem with using a imaginary place is people are used to reading about places they know. If the story was set in London people would automatically have a picture in their head. I guess with careful description you could get around this? I guess this isn't an issue in stories where you build your own world. Check out Jamila's world and inspirations - http://jamilajamison.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/monday-inspirations-the-bird-women-of-vao-artan/
I have not ever really consider writing fantasy or building an entire world but after seeing these outfits I may have to consider it! I want!
So, after a long rambling post my question is, do you make up your story locations or stick with what you know? Or do you write about places you have visited but you don't necessarily know really well?