And how to choose it.
Writing romantic comedy is pretty straightforward when it comes to the setting. I don’t have to create a new land and all that entails for a start. I can draw on my own knowledge of places and choose some favourite locations. Which is exactly what I did for The Adventures of Katie Button, my first romantic comedy novel. Katie lives and works in London. I love London, I’m from London, I visit frequently so for me it was a no brainer to have the capital as the setting. They say ‘write what you know’ which includes where. And it makes it so much easier to carry on with the nitty-gritty of the actual story.
The King’s Road in Chelsea gets a special mention, on the number 11 bus. I don’t know how many times I travelled on that bus or have walked up and down the King’s Road, having grown up just round the corner. It made it easy and enjoyable to write. Although I think Katie wishes she never jumped off that bus . . .
But what happens if you want to write about a setting you’ve never visited? In Dreaming of a Happy Ever After, Katie visits New York. I’ve never been. But it’s on the bucket list and it’ll be on the bucket list for a fair few years to come. It helps that New York is in a gazillion films and TV shows with its fabulous skyline and iconic buildings. It also helps that I have a very dear friend who is from New York State and visits NYC quite a bit, sharing her experiences and photos.
Google helped me too. Google maps for a start to get roads and locations. Photos helped too. I also looked up reviews and menus so I would get the dishes right at least for particular restaurants. It’s these kind of little details that will help the easy flow of the story. The internet is wonderful for researching a place never visited. And it’s made my urge to visit stronger! One day . . .
Brighton on the other hand is one place I’m very familiar with, living not far from this beautiful coastal city. Katie loves to shop so Brighton with The Lanes seemed an obvious choice and not too bad a car journey from London. However, I don’t think Katie will look back on the trip fondly . . .
Looking back on the locations, cities are an important aspect of Katie’s life. I love them too. Maybe that’s why they feature heavily.
I’m in Spain right now, looking at the ocean view as I write. It’s gorgeous. Maybe it’ll feature in a future novel . . .
Thanks for reading,
My publishers, Crooked Cat are holding a sale on most of their ebooks right now. You can catch mine and other fantastic reads for 99p until Thursday over on Amazon. x
Whaaat?! ‘Bridget Jones’ You Say! review of Dreaming of a Happy Ever After