4 tips to make the most of your research trip

View of buildings lit up from the top of Mostar's old bridge at night
View from the top of Mostar's old bridge

This is the last post in a series I’ve done on visiting the real-life locations your story is set in.

Last week I asked how well you thought you could write about a place you’ve never seen, and I gave nine reasons you should visit your setting if at all possible.

Today I’m giving you some tips I learned while on my own research trip in Bosnia. Some of these are things you can do without visiting a place – they just take a little more effort to search out.

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9 reasons to visit your real-life setting

Goods displayed outside a shop in Mostar
Shopping in Mostar

Earlier this week, I asked how well you can describe a place you’ve never been to. In the comments, most people believed writers can describe real-life locations pretty well as long as their research is good enough.

In general, I think that’s probably right. But it doesn’t all come down to research. It’s also a matter of imagination – especially having the creativity to know which questions you need to ask about a location – and confidence.

A week ago I was in Bosnia doing research for the novel I’m writing. Being able to visit my setting in person was a joy and a treat. I know I’m lucky to be able to travel, and it’s a luxury not everyone has. Nor is it something everyone enjoys.

But whether your story is set in a foreign country or the next town over from where you live, these are some of the reasons it makes sense to visit to visit the place you’re writing about.

Continue reading “9 reasons to visit your real-life setting”