One of my favorite parts of writing is making sure my reader is fully immersed in the WHERE of my story. Details make all the difference in this area. Just how very different things can be in another state was brought home to me when we visited Boston. I'd seen my friend Kate at Christianbook.com say "wicked" on Twitter. She's say things like she was "wicked excited" to read my new book, for example. I thought it was just an adorable idiosyncrasy. But no. When I went to CBD in March, I heard it around. It's a common term up there. Cute, isn't it? And of course there was lots of seafood restaurants and all that history. It totally got my story juices flowing!
No, this picture isn't of Boston. it's Kauai of course, from our last visit in early March. Hawaii and Boston are both on the water but what a world of difference. In Hawaii the water sports are centered around diving, snorkeling, sunning, and just enjoying the beautiful beaches. In Boston, I heard more about fishing and lobstering, watermen type professions. Loved it! And the history of course is very different and that plays into the type of people you have in the different states.
I always try to visit a place before I write about it for this very reason. How about you? If you're working on a book right now (or just finished one) what was the thing that surprised you the most about the locale where you set your novel? I'll go first. I'm working on Rosemary Cottage
ships in about 6 weeks, yay!) and they are set in the Outer Banks. I've been to other places on the Atlantic like Myrtle Beach so I was expecting lots of golf and miniature golf and a ton of tourists and crowds. But the Outer Banks is very different. I was surprised how windy it is. And there are kites everywhere! Children flying kites and people kiteboarding. And there are wild horses (bankers) that run free there. We went to Ocracoke and loved it. My little town of Hope Beach is patterned after Ocracoke. It wasn't as packed (of course we were there in late April) and it was beautiful and quant. We loved it!
So now it's your turn. What telling detail can you bring into your novel in a way that helps set the reader in your story?