Friday, August 22, 2014

Writing About Real Locations in Fiction

With The Blue Room Cafe I’m facing the whole new challenge of writing a fictional story located in a real place. It mainly takes place on Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida. Danielle, the main character grows up in an expensive neighborhood in Lake Mary--another nearby Floridian town.

I’ve never created a story that happens in a real place before. What makes it weird is that I know what this place is really like--I’ve been there, so the things I write about it isn’t fiction, but true. So I have to make sure what I write is accurate because anyone that reads my story and lives there will definitely point out any mistakes. At the same time, I know most of my readers will have never been to this location before, so as far as they are concerned, it might as well be fictional. So there’s the task of being accurate enough for the locals and descriptive enough so that people who have never been there can see it.

When it comes to style, I have to write about this place in a way that it sounds like part of the story, not a non-fictional list of landmarks like a tour guide brochure.

Although it is a little intimidating, I’ve found that using a real location gives another dimension to my story when I visualize it. The Blue Room Cafe itself isn’t real, but I can see the real streets and places in the area where it’s supposedly located in my mind. While working on this story, I’m thinking about taking another day trip to Winter Park and seriously taking some pictures so I can document any little details that I can add to the narrative about the setting.

Want to take a virtual trip down Park Avenue in Winter Park to get a feel for my next story? Check it out on Google Maps Street View by clicking here.