Thursday, November 15, 2012

A cool writing tip: Online traveling!

Hi guys! How's NaNoWriMo going?

I'm so thankful for having met the wonderful YA Stands community, I thought I should share with you a quick writing tool I use quite often: I go sightseeing with Street View.

Google's Street View is a wonderful tool that helps me go looking for places around the world that could inspire me to write a scene or two. In fact, Street View helped me find a place in particular that is now the setting of my WIP. And, you know what, when my brain refuses to work, I can always virtually go there, look around, understand the perspective and the sense of space, and write about it.

It's a wonderful research tool, too, if your story is set abroad and you want to get more familiarized with the country you're writing about. You can go abroad in a matter of seconds, and write about things you actually see. Browsing photos is helpful, too, and Street View is more or less a sequence of photos, but at least with Street View you get the sense you're exploring.

I'll help you begin your journey.

1) If your story is set in the countryside, this place will inspire you:

This place is near(ish) Downton Abbey. . . I mean, Highclere Castle.

2) If your characters are going to spend a few days at the beach, you should consider sending them to a place like this one:

3) If stumbling upon a building like this takes your breath away (even though it's only an online visit), imagine how your characters would feel like the first time they saw something like this in Japan:

4) The lovely Chilean sky. Does the sky you see at home look the same?

I hope it helps. Feel free to leave comments with links to special places you've found using Street View. 


  1. The only problem with Street View is it can sometimes be way out of date. If I Street View the apartment building I lived in until last February, it shows a white, peely-painted building, and it shows the house across the street with a chain link fence. The apartment building was painted slate blue with maroon trim in 2008, and the chain link fence was replaced with white pickets that same year. So while Street View can definitely be a good research tool, users should be aware that the buildings they see on it may now look different or not even be there any longer.

    1. Yes, definitely. At the same time, though, if you aren't looking for something in particular / a place you already know, you can always just drop at some random place using Street View and explore just to feel more inspired. :)