LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION by Clare London
“Look,” says Hubby with a wry smile. We’re snuggled on the sofa together, watching a movie last night. “It’s set in London.”
Is he psychic, you ask? A close friend of the producer? A devout follower of IMDB and/or the celebrity movie news websites? No. He’s just seen the double-decker red bus trundle past in the background LOL (and it *was* a James Bomd movie!).
So many movies and pictures rely on triggers like that, don’t they? For London, we have the buses, the black taxis, the phone boxes (vanishing fast), the London Eye, Big Ben, Tower Bridge … to be honest, we’re spoiled for choice of iconic scenes.
My suspense thriller FREEMAN is set in London. When I first drafted it, I deliberately set it in AnyCity rather than a specific place. It was to add to the mystery of the story, the “Everyman” nature of Freeman himself. But when I re-released it in 2013 at Wilde City Press, I made it clearer that the city I used as its setting was London.
Excuse my bias towards London, but I’m living and working there, it’s the city I know best, and it fascinates me. But I’ve also written stories set elsewhere in the UK: in Brighton, Totnes in the south-west, Exeter, Scotland and various “alternative, no-name” cities around the British Isles.
And of course, other cities - as they say - are available! I’ve read and enjoyed many stories set in the United Kingdom that evoke marvellously the spirit of the place, its scenery, its history and the unique characteristics of its inhabitants.
Of course, Hubby and I also joke about movies set in the US, how it sometimes seems there are only 5 cities in existence - New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco – and they’ve been devastated by enough giant monsters / aliens / natural disasters / Decepticons to make us wonder how there’s anything left for any future features LOL. But again, in fiction, there’s the option of so many more places that can come alive in the reader’s imagination.
How do you feel about physical setting in the books you read? Do you skip over the scene-setting as background wallpaper, or does your reading act as a travel pass to exciting new places? Do you admire the author’s love for the place, or wonder just how much research they’ve done to get authenticity? How do you feel if a book features *your* place, or somewhere you know well – does it thrill or creep you out?
Let us know! As they say, it’s all about Location, Location, Location.
And do you like an English accent?!
EXCLUSIVE : this link to an extract from FREEMAN, read aloud for your entertainment! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1Kk9uDPrmE
Writing … Man to Man
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