When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.
Today’s tip: Authenticate setting with Google Street View
I was chatting with my friends over at Crimespace, the Ning for Crime writers a few months ago, and it came to my attention that some of them hadn’t discovered Google Street View. This Google Earth device has become one of my strongest tools for enriching scenes, adding fascinating detail about my novel’s setting and authenticating the areas to which my characters travel. I hate that someone will read my novel–where I’ve had my character stop at a Starbuck’s on the way to work–and grouse that there is no Starbuck’s there and where’s my fact-checking. Has that ever happened to you? So, I never add those details without checking Google Street View.
I put together this screen shot How-to on using Street View. Maybe it’ll help some of you, too:
Google Street View has more locations every month. They even cover hiking trails, now. Go find your house. What do you think?
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Update: These directions have been updated. Visit my July 10th, 2012 posting.