Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back to scribbling in Brooklyn

As opposed to a medieval city with cobblestone streets, and ancient castles and cathedrals. Talk about a change of scene and society - just what I needed to re-invigorate and recharge the old writing brain. Highlights included a day trip to the birthplace of Saint Teresa of Avila and the city of Segovia. I had a fabulous time and will have lots of photos and anecdotes to share in future blog posts about being there. There was enough time to see the most popular and famous sites, which made the visit so memorable, yet short enough to avoid feeling as if I'd overstayed my welcome.

There is no way to describe to anyone who doesn't write historical fiction, how meaningful it is to visit certain sites. When you can personally experience the culture and sights of places in which your story is set, it lends an authenticity to your writing that's sometimes elusive. I found this on my first trip to Spain almost ten years ago, where I visited the Alhambra, which is the setting for Sultana. Although this last trip was primarily a vacation, it was great to wander the streets of Lisbon, in part existing as they would have during the 17th century. Now I know exactly what my pirate hero in an upcoming novel, Renegade, would have seen as he sailed up the River Tagus.

If you are also a historical fiction writer, take advantage of any chance to walk the paths your characters may have walked. Your writing will be all the better for it.

4 comments:

Michelle Gregory said...

my fantasy world is based on Wales. i would love to go there. it's unfortunate that my stomach and head don't like air travel and my internal clock gets really messed up when i go international.

Lisa Yarde said...

Michelle, I'm sorry to hear that - is it a feeling like motion sickness? It's a shame because you would really love Wales, perfect terrain for all sorts of fantastical imaginings.

The Writers' Salon said...

Great suggestion! My novel is set on a cross country train journey in the 1940s. Even though I couldn't recreate that exactly it was really helpful to take a similar train to familiarize myself with the sights, sounds and smells my characters would have experienced.

Michelle Gregory said...

yep, air sickness and i are very old acquaintances or maybe i should say nemeses.

Thank you for seven great years

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