Five: Inspiring Places (U.S. Edition)

Setting is such an important part of a story to me. A lot of times, I build whole stories from the inspiration of a setting. I think I’ve probably written entire fictional worlds based on mental or real pictures of a single place. Here are some of my favorites.

1. New Orleans

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Mid- and southern Louisiana, too, but New Orleans mostly. I don’t know if it’s all the unsettling history in the still air and rising water, I don’t know if it’s the French influence, I don’t know if it’s the mélange of culture and beliefs, all I know is that for about two years in college, I didn’t write anything that wasn’t set in New Orleans or surrounding it, and most of what I read was set there, too.

2. Washington State

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When I found out Twilight was set in Washington, it made perfect sense to me. Better with You (oh man that one needs an edit bad) is set in Washington, too. It’s beautiful and cool and relaxed, and the geography lends itself well to adventure. Plus, there’s an abundance of my favorite kind of house, giving my heroines cute, cozy places to live and make their lives.

3. Isolated stretches of New England coastline

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed New England every time I’ve been. One of the drafted novellas I have is getting a change of setting, and it was finding out about the lighthouses that finally flicked on the light in the dark room of my mind called How To Fix This Vexing Story.

4. Desert

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Hot and dry and, at first glance, dead, the desert is a good place to keep secrets and to find history and to get lost. It’s a good place to put characters to see what happens.

5. Big Sky Country

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There’s something really liberating about wide-open spaces, and Montana has them in abundance. It’s so expansive. It’s ready for small stories with a big backdrop, for cowboys and cowgirls and people looking to pretend, for isolation and character exploration.

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