Late night scouting

Ward BuildingOne thing about writing, when you’re writing a fantasy in a word entirely of your creation, places in the book look exactly how you want them to look. No questions asked because you’ve created that world and everything in it. But when you’re writing in another genre and using a location that exists, you have to get your location facts straight. This means, if a scene happens at night, it’s a good idea to know what the location of that scene looks like at night. Get a feel for it.

It was this that led me out of doors after 11p.m. on a Monday night. People have been messaging me lots of great location ideas. I love that. There are also the places I visited with my sister the other day. But I needed to see the good prospects at night so I could decide once and for all:

1. Is this book happening in Baltimore or Lynchburg
2. If it’s in Lynchburg, what location will work best
 

So I made sure I had my cell phone (because I needed the camera) and head out to downtown. I drove up and down a few streets, snapping pictures of places people had mentioned and some that caught my eye. For the worriers out there, I never got out of my car, my doors were locked, and my windows were shut. It was so disturbingly empty out there that I also thought it prudent to turn off The Good House (by Tananarive Due), the excellent haunted house book I was listening to, and put on some music.

The result of my outing, I think I’ve answered both questions. I’ll be sure in the morning after I’ve had a good night of sleep. One thing I’m sure of now, downtown Lynchburg is creepy at night! At 11 there’s absolutely nobody around, which is perfect for my book. The quietness and emptiness of downtown would make my first chapter believable.

See for yourself:

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