Skip to main content

NaNoWriMo Day24 - Settings and Locations - Part Three - Urban Landscape

Sunday 24th November - Settings and Locations - Part Three - Urban Landscape



When I was parked outside our local doctor's practice, quite some years ago now, I started thinking about the skyline across the river from where I was sitting. For anyone who's never been to Wick - which I imagine are most people - it is a town which boomed in the nineteenth century, and it has the architecture to match. Being me, the first thing which occurred to me was: "which of my characters would manage to run across that skyline?" After that, I started thinking about urban landscapes in a different way. Instead of starting from the bottom, I thought about my landscapes from the top downwards.

No two towns are the same. I'm not amazingly well travelled at all, but I love exploring different places. A good number of years ago, I did a city tour of Germany. Every one of the cities I visited was different, and each gave me inspiration for a totally different story. It was as though the buildings talked to me. Every doorway, every worn step, each with a tale of every passer-by.



Here are a few ideas to take your reader into your urban landscape:

  1. Right angles are wrong - most towns and cities have very few right angles. One of the most intriguing things about buildings are the peculiar angles which they follow. Even cities built on a grid network often have intersecting roads at different angles.
  2. All urban settings have a centre - think about the history of your setting. Perhaps it was built around a crossroads of two major routes, perhaps around a port, or maybe a site of worship.  This will have defined the architecture of the town. Coaching inns with wide arches, heavy industry, towers and spires, all denote the purpose for a town.
  3. Quirky is the norm - architectural oddities are amongst the most significant and lasting impressions of city life.  Dickens' doorknocker, immortalised in his most famous story, is offered in the story as being commonplace. These things were, many still are.
  4. Check the horizon - the skyline of your setting gives your reader an enclosed feeling. Urban landscapes exist beyond our line of sight, try to give that impression to your reader.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

#IndieApril - Christopher Aggett

Our fourth Indie Hero is well deserving of the title. Not only is he a successful author in his own right, he also spends much of his time helping other authors on the Writing Community Chat Show. I have often seen authors asking for publicity and yet not giving back in return. Not Christopher! His Community Chat Show is a perfect way to give back to the #WritingCommunity

Thanks, Christopher!

Deep: the Climb of Truth

Blurb
"It was hard to imagine my father as anything other than that to me, I couldn't think of him as a killer" A young woman named Dee steps into a world of discovery and fear. Having been brought up isolated from civilisation she is separated from her father and her so-called home. She sets out on a journey through a world of danger and mystery; risking everything to stay alive and reunite with her father Eli. Eli who leads a secret life, entwined in dark and dangerous military experiments that threaten human existence.
"This book had me gripped from the b…

Book Tour - Total Blueprint for World Domination by Jolene Stockman

It's great to part of this book's journey!

When my parents bought me my sewing machine many years ago, the gift tag read "believe in your ability and this will become your best friend" or something to that ilk. This book reminded me a little of that - it gives you the matter-of-fact motivational speech needed by some many youngsters.



"Total Blueprint for World Domination" is an inspirational book for young people. Young people need to think big, and believe in themselves, and this book certainly helps with that!

There are motivational speeches and activities gallore. Some of the activities have been seen before, but others are new to me. Occasionally, books heap activities onto the reader like nobody's business, but this book gets it just right. Not too many, and not too few. The reader is left feeling like they can take part without worrying about the time!

And did I mention the graphics? The design of the book is eye catching and, in itself, inspirat…

"Through Time to London" by Brindy Wilcox

What started as a normal day for Brandy & Brinkley changed beyond anything they dreamed of when Jed visited. The two spaniels were used to having little adventures every time they left the house, but nothing prepared them for that morning. 
1665 London was a dangerous place for dogs, so when the two brothers found themselves suddenly in the middle of the plague-ridden city it was a race against time to escape the clutches of the street dogs, the perils of the rats and the dangers of the dogcatchers. 
Would they be able to survive in their new surroundings and would they be able to find their way back to the safety of their own home?
Through Time to London is the first in a series that follows the adventures of Brandy and Brinkley, two time-travelling Cavalier Spaniels, who are met with new challenges in their search for the way home.



Firstly, I love dogs! I have a spaniel - a cheeky Sprocker by name of Orlando - so I love reading and hearing about the adventures of other dogs, fiction…