Do you need to experience your setting?

I decided to write my posts on the weekend so that I had time freed up during the week. This decision made me so happy and proud.

So its 8 am Tuesday…I am not so happy or proud…

Nothing ever goes to plan.

I went to Sydney recently for a wedding, and it was the perfect opportunity to inhale the sights and sounds since my characters are going to take a jaunt there quite early in book two. Ferrying past the Sydney Opera House during the day,  I couldn’t help but think, “Is that Mission Brown in the eye bit? Is there a really big  fence somewhere in Sydney left unpainted so that the Opera House could use this as part of their colour palate? ” So, I didn’t really get any tinglings.

Have you noticed, though, that unplanned gatherings or the ones you dread the most end up being the most fun?

Maybe the same can be said for inspiration – that it hits at unexpected times in unexpected places. You can’t always force it.

I drove around Paddington in Brisbane to look at the ‘Queenslanders’ – the house my characters live in.

I changed no details about the houses themselves in the book, but I did find a huge Moreton Bay Fig towering over a lone park bench on the corner of a suburban street.

No, I didn’t end up changing the setting so that my characters now live  in a tree house – painted Mission Brown –  but the tree secured my idea about the book cover, and I did add a new scene to the book where Mae would find solitude here, would run to this place to prove to herself that she could. The introduction of the scene ended up tying in with her past,  showing why her childhood crush never pursued her earlier: if he ran after her, she just ran further. Kind of like my dog when she escapes the house….

See, it hits in unexpected places.

So, do you need to experience your setting to become inspired enough to write about it?