Thursday, March 19, 2009

The place of a story?

I'm trying to decide if I should now set my novel in Canada.

Admittedly, prior to now I've been a bit of a coward about actually setting it in a specific town - either part (there's where now is happening in the book, then there's flashbacks to somewhere else).

Part of this is that if I set it someplace specific and real, I'd have to know that place well - and I don't really know anywhere all that well. In the States, I've lived in Ann Arbor, MI for a little over 3 years, 10-13 years ago, Fairfield, OH (Just outside of Cincinnati) for a little over 4 years, 3-8 years ago and Friday Harbor, WA (an island in Northern Puget Sound) for 3.5 years (until last fall). None I really knew well enough to set a whole life in, and none really very interesting to set a life in.

If I set it in Canada (seeing as how I've moved back here) - where? Where I grew up? I haven't lived there or spent any real time there in over 13 years. Where I live now? I've only been here 4 months. I only know this town in the winter for a start!

Of course, I could set it anywhere and just do the research, but everything I've read says if I'm going to set a story someplace real and specific, I have to know that place personally.

Setting it in Canada might give more publishing opportunities here in Canada, but I think would hinder it being published elsewhere. Setting it someplace I've never been I think would make in insincere. Setting it in the States, might limit opportunities here in Canada. And setting it either no where in particular, or someplace invented and maybe even vague about the country I fear is a cop-out and pretty lame.

Decisions. The location isn't critical to the plot, but it would be a part of the story a little.

What to do, what to do...?

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