Research or Are We Having Fun Yet?
I hope this post finds you well. I just got in from my morning stroll and it's already hot and humid...and it's only 9am! Ah...balmy summers in the South. Is it October yet?
Been doing a bit of research. Ok, so a lot more than just a bit. That's why I've been AWOL the past two days. Got an idea that requires some world building. World building of the real world kind. Which is not as much fun as, say, Narnia or Middle Earth, but enjoyable. Thing is, on the surface, you'd think real world building would be easier. I use the term "real world building" to mean a place invented and yet fully set here and now, in the real world. No alternate dimensions, no corresponding realities. I'll admit, this is a jump for me, but one I'm enjoying with abandon.
The thing is, real world building is harder than fantasy world building. Why? Because if you base a story around a real destination, or a destination that could exist, it has to be perfect. Meaning: if I base a tale in Savannah, GA and I say that Tybee Island is 5 miles off I-95, every reader from the state of Georgia would be writing to tell me I'm a blooming idiot. (Incidentally, you'll find Tybee Island down US-80 East, which is locally known as Butler Avenue as soon as you hit that charming little curve in the road and you get your first real glimpse of the mighty Atlantic.)
The world I'm building is based on the coastal towns of Georgia. It's invented, so I have a bit more freedom, however, it has to be believable. In other words, I can't make it snow in September, capisce?
Anywho, are any of you guys doing any world building, real or otherwise? Which would you or do you prefer? Do you find it harder to write about real places or places based around actual locales? Or do those stories come to you easily, wrapping around you like humidity in August in Atlanta?