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It’s long been an adage that writers should write about what they know. It’s generally true that if you have never visited the location of your book, you won’t know what to write to make it seem authentic. So if you set your novel’s location in Africa and you live in Sweden, short of hopping on a plane (there used to be a lot of those about pre Covid-19) you’re not going to know how to describe the location.
In my up-coming novel, The Brittle Sea, part of the action takes place in a small fishing port in Alaska. I have a Twitter friend who has written a fabulous memoir about living in the area as a child, Raised in Ruins,
and this has helped considerably and the author is on hand if I get stuck. But, nothing beats seeing a location with your own eyes. Well, technology has an answer for you. Google Earth is an app you can download, you may even get it as standard on some computers, which will allow you to zero in on a location and see for yourself what it looks like. In some cases you can walk down a street. I planned a trip to Rome using Google Earth.
So if you’re stuck with your writing and possibly in lockdown then Google Earth certainly works out as a quicker and less expensive way of seeing a location.