Do you create your location first or do you write a scene first?
For a novel, I decide on the location before I start writing. My first three novels take place in a fictitious ski resort in British Columbia, Canada. The fourth novel takes place in the Bahamas. I chose the location first because I wanted to write about people who live in isolated places.
Some scenes dictate a location, but for others, I might write the scene and then chose a location. I keep track of locations in a spreadsheet. This helps me avoid using one place to often. Believe it or not, in a ski resort not everything happens on the mountain.
If I have a scene written and haven’t chosen a location, I do this by looking at the mood of the scene. Is is romantic, frightening, funny, awkward? I think about where in my created world the scene will have the greatest impact. Then I add the details.
When reviewing a manuscript, I check for the empty stage syndrome. Did I get carried away with action or dialogue and not describe the location? If I did, I work on describing the location. Sometimes at this stage I drop a clue or a red herring based on location.
Do you decide on location first or write a scene first?
Thanks for reading . . .