I’m working on a scene in my contemporary romance WIP (work in progress), Meant for You, and since my characters live in the Rockies, they’re getting in some Colorado hiking during this chapter of the manuscript.
Having lived in Colorado for nearly two decades, you’d think it would be easy to write a hiking scene, yes?
Why? Well, the terrain is different throughout the state, even with in a few miles of a certain area. So, how do you write about a particular place without knowing exactly what it looks like? Put it in your ebook incorrectly and you’re going to get slammed by the readers who DO happen to be familiar with the place because they live there/just visited there/have relatives there.
Enter Google Earth, Google Maps, and You Tube. You can find almost any place on the planet via one of these websites. Today, I put the general setting from my manuscript into Maps, zeroed in on the roads in the area, chose a hiking trail, then went to You Tube for a video of the trail. (I embedded the video at the beginning of this post so you can enjoy the beauty of McCullough Gulch, located near the Breckenridge ski area.)
If you’re writing a first draft or tweaking a work in progress and you really want to be authentic, try doing a search for interesting places or things in the area where you’ve set your manuscript. Having a map, image, or video to reference can give your writing more detail and will (hopefully) give your readers a better sense of “being there.”