I’ve traveled a lot in 2015 for business. No, not for my “day job” as an attorney. (That would be impossible anyway, since I am chained to my desk like a Doberman to its doghouse.) My travels have been for my business as a romance novelist, wedged into already busy weekends. Why? Because accuracy in scene-setting is a mandatory part of a writer’s “world building.”
Hence, my travels. I packed up my toothbrush, my family, and plugged in “I’ve been Everywhere,” by Johnny Cash.
For one recent story I’ve published, “Art and Seduction,” (released in the anthology HOT SEDUCTION—SIX SIZZLING TALES) I visited New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, because the Met plays an important role in the story.
Photo of Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Mind you, I actually grew up in Manhattan, and only a few blocks away from the Met. I walked there hundreds of times during my youth. So why go back and visit a place I know so well? Because it’s important to me to be as accurate as possible. I don’t want to write what I remember, I want to write what I see.
There is a scene in “Art and Seduction” where my heroine travels to the Met, a place she has always yearned to go to. So I wanted to write this scene from the point-of-view of someone who had never been there. What would it be like to see the grand edifice for the first time? I wanted to try to see this majestic place as it it were my very first time.
A few months ago, I also focused on writing other manuscripts. One of them (set in the world of horse racing) takes place in Belmont Park (New York City) and Saratoga Springs (in New York State). Visiting these places was quite different from my visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art because I had never been to either Belmont or Saratoga. This was the exact opposite from my experience writing “Art and Seduction,” because in my horse racing story my heroine knew these areas well, although I did not. Hence, I explored Belmont and Saratoga with the mindset of someone who was so familiar with these places it was a fundamental part of who they were.
Photo of Saratoga Springs
As a writer, the difference in writing these two novels is in the point-of-view. What a character will notice when they visit someplace new is quite different from what the character will notice in a place they know well.
What do you notice when you go someplace new?
Above photographs: Copyright Stacy Hoff 2015. All rights reserved.
WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR STACY HOFF:
AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC by Stacy Hoff:
AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES by Stacy Hoff:
AMAZON LINK FOR LAWFULLY YOURS by Stacy Hoff:
AMAZON LINK FOR HOT SEDUCTION (box set contributors: Jamie K. Schmidt, Stacy Hoff, Holly Roberts, Theresa Hissong, Susan Griscom & Leia Shaw):
AMAZON LINK FOR SEASON OF LOVE (Box set with Stacy Hoff):