Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Interesting Places to Use as Story Settings

Everyone is attempting to save money these days, so here's a great tip. When planning a vacation or an outing, think of places you'd like to write about too. You can have fun while also doing your writing research. Remember to take pics to document your visit. They will come in handy later, when you want to write.

This doesn't mean I always double my entertainment and vacations with writing research, but I always take a ton of pics just in case.

I'm going to share four places I've gone and would like to use as settings for stories in the future.

The first setting is infamous.

The entire town is completely tourist crazy. Every storefront features aliens. Even the local lawyer's office got in on the action.

The streetlamps were even decorated for the alien holiday.

Of course, while I was there I visited the museum and took many pics. (A word for the interested -- the museum is a waste of money, but if you are an alien nut, you still have to go anyway just for the experience). I enjoyed my trip into Oddville and I have an alien Xmas ornament to put on my tree from the experience!

The second trip I want to incorporate in a story is The House on the Rock. Neil Gaiman already incorporated a scene from this house in American Gods, which is a book I highly recommend. This is one of my favorite trips. I've gone three times actually, and plan to go back again. Alex Jordan Jr.'s house is wacky and kooky, inspiring any writer.

Here are a few pics of the oddity that is The House on the Rock. Perhaps, they will inspire you to write as well:

This first sculpture is suspended from the ceiling above the great carousel.

The carousel hosts unconventional mythological creature seats such as these. It's a beautifully creepy and I can see why Neil Gaiman was inspired.

There is a wide variety of odd collections like guns and moving miniatures. Some of the more famous items in the house are the giant whale sculpture and the whimsical mechanical band that plays The Beatle's Octopus's Garden.

The third trip I took that will inspire a story, I am sure, is to Ripley's Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, TX. This museum is amazing and there are so many possibilities for a plot amongst all the famous movie monsters, celebrities, and historical displays. Here are just a few of my favorites:

The museum entrance:

Classic Frankenstein:

Billy the Kid:

And an amusing sign good for a chuckle:

The fourth setting is so inspirational! It's my recent trip to Savannah, Georgia this last December. If you have not been to Savannah and you love reading ghost stories, horror, historical, or gothic novels, then this is the vacation spot for you.

I stayed at the very famously haunted Marshall House, which got my ghostly writer juices flowing. It was nicely decorated for the holidays. All the woodwork is original to the hotel and is gorgeous, by the way.

I spent the weekend visiting with family and walking around downtown Savannah, which has a great atmosphere. It was raining too, which only added to the fun of it. Everywhere you walked was the famous Spanish moss on the live oaks. If that isn't haunting, I don't what is!

All the buildings downtown are kept up historically. The architecture is gorgeous and just gets your writer's imagination going.

We even managed to take in a ghost trolley tour, which was the perfect way to spend a chilly, rainy night on the riverfront and learn more about the history of the city.

There are tons of touristy shops set in  historical buildings that will set your writer's imagination alight, but beware of the treacherous stairways, which I can imagine a villain lurking in on a dark and lonely night.

I also found time to tour one of the historical graveyards in the area, Bonaventure Cemetery. The background was hauntingly seductive, so much so, it's already been featured in famous books like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, and in the movie directed by Clint Eastwood.

These are just four of the places I've visited and plan on featuring in my work.

What places have you featured in your writing? Happy travels!

And as always, happy writing and happy reading to all!


Andrew G. Carson said...

I've wanted to visit Roswell since I was a kid hooked on the X Files, it looks a really interesting place.

Nora B. Peevy said...

Roswell is disappointing, if you like X-files, but if you schlock like plastic alien poo, then you're in luck! LOL It's actually a trippy place and worth visiting, though the museum doesn't have anything really good in it. But go. Really... you have to just satisfy the curiosity. I did!