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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Places I Go

It’s amazing how we can incorporate characters into our novels that aren’t human.  And I don’t mean just animals. A haunted mansion, a small rural town, or even a tropical island -- settings can become characters in and of themselves.

When I wrote my historical, THE PRIVATEER, it was really important to me to create an island that was so real that a reader might believe it actually existed. After I found a location to use in the Leeward Islands (islands in the area of and including Antigua, St. Kitts, and so on), I drew a map of my island with notations for the colony, the homes of my characters, and places of interest. I even included the topography of the land so my heroine would be climbing in the right places, and racing along flat stretches of beach exactly where she should be.

Most importantly, I learned the aspect of creating a setting with its own personality was to truly be able to see it in my own mind’s eye. I studied photographs of Caribbean islands, both modern and historical. As luck would have it, I was able to schedule a three day trip to the Caribbean get a feel for the elements. I even paid close attention to set details of current films. Who can forget the stark impression Port Royal makes on us in the opening scenes of “Pirates of the Caribbean:  The Curse of the Black Pearl,” when Elizabeth Swann is shown at home? Before I even started my manuscript for THE PRIVATEER, the home of Julius Bertrand and Kate O’Connell was a vivid three-dimensional world in my head. I only had to get it down on paper.

Since creating my romantic island of San Madrid for THE PRIVATEER, I have realized I love creating and writing intriguing settings, almost as much as I enjoy reading about them.

Danielle Thorne


katsrus said...

Love your book cover. I really enjoy a book that can make me believe I am really there even if it's not real.
Sue B

heather said...

Wow, thats really impressive. I would love to read this book just to see how real you made it feel :)

The Happy Booker said...

I love a book with an exotic location. I can't wait to read how the island background accents the romance.

Donna Smith
ahappybooker at gmail dot com

Danielle Thorne said...

Thanks for your comments. I love books with exotic locations, too, especially Europe. I enjoy soaking in others' research.

Leanne109 said...

Sounds like a great adventure!


Sarita said...

It sounds like you really enjoyed creating such an intriguing setting.

Stacie said...

I think it would be fun to create your own setting for a story. Great post.

User1123 AT comcast DOT net

Laura Ann Dunks said...

What a great source of inspiration. Also, I love your cover!

Best of luck!

Laura xxx

Robin said...

The amount of research and planning you do is impressive!

Robin D
robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

shiderly77 said...

I usually don't like exotic locales but your book does sound interesting. I can definitely respect all the work that goes into creating a work of art.

JohnF said...

Good luck!

Na said...

Settings that have personalities really appeal to me. I like stories that can take me places and really give me a sense of belonging there. I think them especially important in historical and fantasy stories because they are not the reality I live in.