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.


Popular posts from this blog

"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…

NANOWRIMO - Beginnings

Friday 1st November 2019 - Beginnings
No matter what anyone tells you, your beginning is spectacularly important. No pressure or anything, but if a reader doesn’t gel with your first line, your second must be amazing.The general rule of thumb is, the further a reader is expected to go to find the story, the easier it will be to lose them.
Starting a book can seem a bit like a rocky, uphill struggle - but it's worth it!

One of the most well-known beginnings:
In the beginning was the word
It’s difficult to rival that one!
But it’s a statement of truth (let’s leave fact out of it, as most of use NaNoWriMo writers are in the business of fiction), and that’s what most of my first lines are.
Petrovia Lodge was all that could be expected of a country house for a family of a not inconsiderable income.
Day’s Dying Glory

In a country at peace, men of war are confined to their homes and families.
Beneath Black Clouds and White

The springy heather underfoot was the only thing which coaxed on the falte…

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…