So, I've decided that Monday's will be "craft note" days. I have yet to decide how many posts I'll plan for each week, at least two, I think.
Craft Note: Visualization
I have never created a world in my writing. Meaning: I've never created a place that is 100% different from Earth. A place called Borg, for example, where little blue people dwell and shoot lasers out of their eyes. I think that if I were to write science fiction a lot of world-planning would be involved. I like to stick with what I know and see and then expand upon that. But what do you do for fictionalized/make believe places set in "reality" but aren't a part of reality? Let's take my new novel "Surrender" for example. There is no such place as Falls, New Hampshire. It's actually based off two places in New Hampshire: Portsmouth, for it's quaint New England-y feel and Lincoln, a place that I only drove through, that's nestled in the White Mountains. I suppose when I really think about it, Falls is more Lincoln (because of the mountains) than Portsmouth (which is on the coast). At any rate, I merged the two places together to create something fictional. Another example is the school that my main character's go to: Stonegrove. I've never attended a private school before and had an image of my head (a cross between an English boarding school and a private school in Exeter, NH).
It can be incredibly difficult to create something from scratch and really "see" that place or have readers see it just as clearly. In order for me to do this, and be successful, I tend to sketch or draw. I make blueprints so I can see the layout as my character would see it. I've created whole towns like this. I don't know, there's something about visualization that helps me with the writing. And in order for these places to seem real, I have to believe they are real. Mapping them out helps with this, I think.
The top picture (click on all pictures to make them bigger) is the front of the school as I saw it. The most important feature to me was the large clock tower and the archway that the students walk through to get into the school. You'll also notice the cobblestone circular drive. The middle picture shows the basic region layout from the main town of Falls and up into the mountains where the school is. Lucas's house is also on the map, but not Cameron's. I'm surprised I didn't include the farmhouse, but on well. It's there. The bottom picture is another layout of the school (the entryway) that I wanted to put down. I accidentally cut off the big gate at the bottom of the school's "driveway." I really only describe the entryway once (Evelyn's first day of school), but it was important (not to mention fun) to get the image down on paper.
So, what about you? Do you just go on instinct and hope that all the details are right and believable, or do you get all crazy like me and start making maps and diagrams?
End of craft note.