Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Real-Time Research

I'm in a bit of a quandary this month.

You see, I'm wanting to do a work up for a new story, one different from anything I've written before. I know where I want to set it, but the trouble is, I've never really been to this place before. We're talking about coastal Maine. You'd think growing up on the east coast of Canada I would have been, but I haven't. My sum total experience was a trip to Houlton when my age was still in the single digits, and a conference in Machias when I was in university.

When I write a Harlequin Romance, my settings are very much a place I've been to. In the small anomaly that was a fictional principality in The Rancher's Runaway Princess, I had complete autonomy to do what I wanted. But I can't this time. This time it is REAL, and I always feel a strong responsibility to get it right.

The silly thing is, it is not a long trip. I could be there in a matter of hours by car/ferry. But it is something I would want to do with the whole family over the course of at least 4 days, and after me going to DC and our family trip that is planned for November, we just don't have the cash. Four nights in a hotel and four people to feed and the gas adds up REALLY fast.

And yet....

I really feel like I want to research this in person.

I suspect in the end, I'm going to be doing a lot of reading and online research and looking at pics and videos. Does anyone have any suggestions?

And in the meantime, I'll go back to working on my latest project!


cheryl c said...

Is there any way that you can go over there for just the day to do some quick research? Then you could go back and spend more time at some other date.

EllenToo said...

I can only suggest you plan to go over for just one day if its possible and get as much research as possible in that time period and then do whatever reading and researching necessary for the rest.

Mary said...

Looking at pictures on the net and doing research on the net is probably going to be your best bet as you can't get there in person. Maybe you could ask for people who live there to send you pictures and their ideas of the place that you could use? I wish you luck.

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Donna Alward said...

Oh, i wish I could go for a day! But it's over 2 hours to the ferry, and then more time on the boat - which costs about $400 one way for all of us! Half of that for just me! And to drive it would take a whole day.

I do have a contingency plan though. My neighbours are going next week and have offered to pick up tourist materials, real estate guides, and take lots of pictures while they are gone. :-)Between that and the internet etc., I might do okay.