Saturday, October 15, 2011

Do You Do This?

While my main character lives in a house I dreamed up, her boyfriend's house is my brother Jeff's. Well, kind of. I modified it for my story. For example, the house in my book has a pool that looks a heck of a lot like the backyard swimming pool I had as a kid.

I visited family on Maui last week, and I stayed at Jeff's house. It was fun walking in and comparing it to what I'd put on the page.



Here I am with Jeff at his house. He's the one on the left. Tee-hee!

A few of the other real-life places where my characters have lived are the house I grew up in, two high school friends' houses, and my grandparents' apartment.


I assume most writers do this. Do you? Where do your characters live?


I would like to note that my amazing and beautiful friend
Molly Hall is moving to the East Coast this month.


Molly and I at the Heart and Soul Celebration, 2010 SCBWI Summer Conference

So many of us here in Western Washington will miss her, but we have phones, e-mail, and conferences to bring us together! I'm actually very excited for her!


If you see this, Molly, know I'm thinking of you and sending you my love. Our Third Excellent Adventure is less than a year away! Can't wait! xo

17 comments:

Jon Paul said...

Yeah, I tend to locate my stories in familiar places, but like you, it tends to be an amalgam rather than an exact replica of reality.

And yeah, I thought everyone did this, but I suppose there are other approaches.

Good luck to Molly! Big moves like that can be challenging, but also a big new adventure. :D

Anne Gallagher said...

I think the familiarity of a certain place allows the setting to come alive, therefore allowing the reader to enjoy it more.

Best to Molly. Depending on where she goes on the East Coast, it's a lot like WA.

Angelina C. Hansen said...

Yes. I've set things in familiar places. In a sense, it's writing what you know. . .

Molly is going to be SO missed. But how exciting for her!

Dawn Simon said...

Jon Paul, thanks for sharing. It's fun to hear what other writers do. And yes, lots of positive wishes to Molly! :)

Anne, I agree. Truly seeing a place allows a writer to bring it to life. It helps me to draw maps of my characters' homes, whether they are modified versions of real places or entirely imagined.

Hi, Angelina! I think you're right. Regarding Molly, I'm excited for her too!

Liza said...

Yes, I start with familiar places and then modify them. One building in my current project is based on an inn where I worked when I was sixteen! Dawn, thanks for following Middle Passages!

Claudia Del Balso said...

Hi Dawn,
Thank you for stopping by my blog. I just became your latest follower so hopefully we'll see each other in the blogosphere ;-)
Cheers!

Dawn Simon said...

Liza, how cool that you're bringing that inn into your writing! You're welcome for the follow. Thank you! :)

Hi, Claudia! Thank you! Yes, I'll see you in the blogosphere!

Susan Fields said...

I like to find houses on the internet that my characters live in. In my current wip, my mc lives in a rental house that I found by Googling "lake house" and clicking on an intriguing picture. The website's got a complete virtual tour, so I can see what all the rooms look like, and let me tell you, it's gorgeous!

Suma Subramaniam said...

Im sure Molly will miss you the same. Nice picture of you and your brother Dawn! Brings back memories of my brother. Thanks for sharing.

Medeia Sharif said...

I know how it is when someone moves so far away. Thankfully, it's easy to communicate nowadays, but of course sometimes I want the physical presence.

I pick homes I've lived in or other ones I'm familiar with for the settings of my manuscripts.

Dawn Simon said...

Susan, I've looked at real estate sites, but a virtual tour! I've never even thought of that! You're a genius! :) (And yeah, I'll bet that lake house in your book is gorgeous!)

Thank you, Suma. <3

Medeia, it is easy to communicate nowadays--I'm super glad for that. But yeah, it's so special to have the people we miss right there.

It's interesting to hear how everyone else tackles character homes!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I take notes and photos of places I've stayed or been. I have all kinds of notes based on airplanes I've been on. Weird huh? I should probably write something that involves a plane some time...

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I take notes and photos of places I've stayed or been. I have all kinds of notes based on airplanes I've been on. Weird huh? I should probably write something that involves a plane some time...

WritingNut said...

Aww.. these are great pictures! Best of luck to Molly :)

Monica B.W. said...

Hey Dawn!

So yes, I suppose my characters live in familiar places, too. But in my last ms, I had to challenge myself because it was a YA fantasy and the places they lived in *had* to be different. I hope it went well, lol!

<3

Molly Hall said...

Ah man! I just got my head out of the sand and saw this! Wonderful wonderful wonderful! Thank you for caring about me, Dawn! And thanks to others for the well wishes! I TOTALLY need them, and I'm tearing up just reading this! Can't wait for next summer when I can lay eyes on you, Dawn. I agree, in person is the best. But, we'll have to let technology carry us until then. HUGS!!!!

Dawn Simon said...

Sharon, good idea about the notes and photos. Yes, sounds like a plane scene is brewing! :)

Thanks, WritingNut!

Monica, I totally get it. I have quite a bit of that in my book, too!

I miss you, Molly! <3