How do you write about a place you've never been before? Sometimes when we're working with a new character we might start off in a familiar place, like San Francisco or Los Angeles but then the character might need to go to Miami for some reason. Panic sets in... how do you write about Miami if you've never been?
You want your story settings to come off as authentic and you want the freedom to let your characters travel the globe, or the universe, or the multiverse. Ask yourself what steps you'll need to take to write to make your settings true to their real life counterparts.
Pick a location, Peru, Paris, Tokyo, Iceland, somewhere you've never visited and do some research. Make a list of what you need to know about your location. Find maps, learn about the public transit, read up on some restaurants or popular local parks. Here's a short list of what your character might need to know on their visit:
-Look up the cuisine, what are the local foods?
-How do people get around?
-What's the local religion?
-How do people dress? Is the local style formal or informal?
-What is the architectural style of the city? Is it new, old, or technologically more advanced?
Once you've learned more about the locals perspectives of this place write a short story or poem about visiting. Is your character a tourist? Are they a native? How do these distinctions affect the way your character or narrator interacts with the landscape? How do you as a writer create a authentic portrayal of a locale that you are unfamiliar with?
As always we love to see your responses to these prompts. Send us your piece and we might publish it on the blog.