Google Maps Street View is one of my favorite tools as a writer. When I set out to write Expecting Happiness, I first asked myself what kind of book I was in the mood to read. My answer, something involving a travel adventure, so I set to work creating characters that wanted to leave behind their boring lives and hit the open road, (real stretch of the imagination, right?). Of course, I ended up taking them places I had been before, because writing about places I had never actually seen felt daunting.
However, I quickly realized that my fuzzy memories left holes in the pictures of these destinations, and the characters’ personalities also started to take them places within these cities that I never visited. My solution? Google Maps Street View. Now, I do not pretend to be the first writer with this clever idea, but it is one of my favorite tricks to help me understand the layout of a city and visualize its scenery. If you haven’t checked it out before, you should give it a shot. You never know what sort of inspiration you’ll find.
So cool! I have never thought of this! I guess it won’t help me much with the novel I’m writing right now (it’s set in 1848), but I will definitely use this tool in the future.
Yes, that would be a bit trickier! How cool if a map like that existed though… I really admire writers willing to put in the work to write historical fiction 🙂
I love to do this when I’m trying to describe a place I’ve never visited. Italy, Spain, Fiji. I strolled around Paris the other day. Google Maps is an amazing tool.
Agreed, it’s amazing! Definitely helps me write about places I haven’t been, too. Used it to take a walk around Vegas, which I’ve never been compelled to visit. Actually kind of made me want to go. So cool!
Never thought about this. It’s a great idea.
Street View has been very helpful whenever I want to make a road scene.