Friday, May 7, 2010

Jersey Girl

The biggest thing related to my real life is the setting. I've already talked in previous posts about Wildwood, N.J., it's history, and my ties to it. I've also mentioned how difficult it is to remember to describe everything. Things there are so familiar to me, it's easy to forget that others don't know the layout...where the lifeguard stands are, what types of stores are on the boardwalk, what it might look like under the boardwalk, etc.

I haven't been back to Wildwood in about five years, and am immensely excited that my family and I are headed to the Jersey Shore this summer. I can't wait to introduce my kids to the wonders of the boardwalk. Maybe seeing Wildwood through their eyes as they experience it for the first time will actually help me with the setting in my novel.

Hopefully, I'll get the chance to go out onto the beach at night as one of my opening chapter's scenes happens down there. And I need to check out what it's like out near an old dilapidated fishing pier.

Of course, I also plan to eat my share of boardwalk pizza and other scrumptious treats, and then make myself sick on the rides. I'm not sure what that will have to do with my plot, but I know it will be gloriously fun.


  1. I think we you are in Wildwood, you should take a pen and paper wherever you go, and try to write down as much as you can; the sights, sounds, smells, everything (well as much as you can, but you get my point). I think this will help you tremendously when you are struggling with your setting.

  2. That's going to be a fun trip! (i have decided i need to go to Ireland for my setting!) Take a bunch of pics with your digital camera or buy postcards, or maybe even take a digital voice recorder so you don't feel like you're constantly scribbling. bring back souvenirs you can put around you when you write. i actually have never felt like it was difficult to get a sense of your setting, a couple details here and there regarding where things are in relation to each other as the story moves, but you might be stressing over it too much. so you've been there and maybe the reader hasn't. there are books where the author has only "been there" in her mind--Hogwarts for instance! Setting can become almost a character in itself, but it can also beat people over the head with boring and unnecessary detail (like in the book about spousal relations and temporal displacement) to the point that it detracts from the story and readers skip over it.

  3. Man I want to go to WildWood now. You know maybe you should tell the mayor or whomever that you are writing a book set on the Jersey shore!