Friday, October 2, 2009
Location Location Location!
You know what else… You couldn’t WRITE this stuff. If you wrote a town that bought into one man’s vision of artistic insanity to the degree that they would leave offerings for Fairies on a daily basis (I kid you not—I walk by one of them on my way to work, there is always a little something outside the door)… it is just WAY too charming for fiction. Nobody would believe you. (note: the one in the picture is in the district library—there are windows in the books even) There are even pretenders! [Goblin Door]
It all got me to thinking about writing. (big surprise there)
I have Athena to thank for Portland. My ‘spy novel’ was set in a Midwest college town until Athena decided to live on the streets of Portland and edge her way into said spy novel. And you know what? I am SO GLAD she did. I lived in Portland for twelve years, from college graduation until 2000—a time in my life when I was mostly pre-children. My husband sold his car to buy me an engagement ring in 1990, and since then, all but two years we have only had one car (and when I say WE had a car, I mean I made payments and he drove it) so I know Portland streets, buses, and hang-outs in a way only a pedestrian, young, professional can. It has opened avenues and given me ideas, and I believe helped LEGACY fall out of the pen as fast as it has. My only ‘work’ on setting is things like checking the timing for when Union Avenue became Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (in the story, it is still Union and MAX and Pioneer Square were BRAND new). The REALLY nice thing, is in a real location, I can use real quirks, real details, and real knowledge, allowing for a much more heterogeneous fiber to the city.
Anyway, I am curious how other writers approach location: real, total fiction, combo?