Saturday, February 21, 2009

Visting Locations We Write About

I've been itching to visit Charleston. I've haven't visited that beautiful city full of living history in nine years. Since I'm only four hours away--it's a shame!

I'm at a point in my story where my characters are going from Hartsville to Charleston, SC. This makes the desire even stronger, especially since I'm writing an historical and I need to feel the place and know the layout of the city the way it was back then.

Every weekend seems so full of activities, commitments or responsibilities that I haven't found the time to get away. And then I wonder if it would be right to spend the money on another small adventure trip. With the economy the way it is and cutbacks happening at my job, shouldn't I save that money for the unexpected things that might crop up?


Why do we always feel the need to be prudent, wise, and responsible? When is it okay to throw caution to the wind and do what we want to do? I want to create memories at different places and write them down in creating memorable stories. Soon I'll be finished with this book and writing about some other place besides Charleston.

Do you ever want to visit a place in a book you've read? Or from a story you're writing? Did you throw caution to the wind and go in spite of your better judgment?


  1. I've been fortunate in that I've lived in all four time zones and traveled through almost every state. So most of my story locations involve places I have seen. But sometimes I do want to go back, so I can be acurate in my descriptions.

    And if you're only four hours away from Charleston, go! It's a delightful town so full of history. We're in NC and also only four hours away and enjoyed our trip there last year for a book festival.

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. Jenn,
    I want to go everywhere and never do! I'd like to take off to St.Simons for research but something always comes up or I can't get my family on board for the trip. Someday....

  3. Jenn,
    I love to travel and Charleston is on my list too. I've never been there but have heard fabulous things about it.
    Writing contemporary romances I haven't really travelled for research because I write about cities I know. But I love history and love to visit historical sights.

  4. Diane,

    I should go. All my weekends in March are full. Maybe I can work it out in April or May. Thanks for the encouragement. Where in NC are you? Are you near me in Charlotte?

  5. Christy and Lindi,

    Traveling is a great excuse to use for research, even if you don't write historicals. There's something about being there and getting to know the area, especially if you decide to write about a new setting.

  6. I travelled to Gatlinburg, TN, for my first book. Actually, we'd already visited there several times for spring break and such. So I just used one of our trips for research. Even though I'd been there before, I think it really helped for me to go through the town with a notebook and jot down very specific notes. And so fun, too! :)

    You should go as soon as you can, Jenn. It shouldn't cost a whole lot-- just gas and food and, I guess, one night at a hotel. And if you make it into a family vacation, everyone will get to benefit! I've been to Charleston twice and loved it!