Researching where our characters live, work, play could be easier if you lived in that same city or at least the very country your novel is based. What happens when you are writing about cities that you do not live in? I can't even fathom the research required for historical romance or sci-fi settings, hats off to anyone who is writing in magical locations that exists only in their heads. How well do you know your characters neighbourhood?
I knew exactly where to move my MC's love interest. Away from her of course, for a short period at least. My problem was, although I'd visited the city previously, time has marched on and the cityscape, politics, economy, places to shop, eat has changed. I 'googled' fearlessly, searching for a home for my love interest...before the 'head slap' moment, you know that mental 'what the blazes am I doing?' Yes, I remembered my friends who still in live in the far flung city. Silly girl. Why didn't I think of them in the first place? The haze...of writing alone. You forget close ones can help you. I shot off a flurry of fruitful emails to friends, and hey, presto...I'm rearing to delve back into my WIP. Now, back to typing away on my Californian-Chinese keyboard, drinking African grown coffee, sipping French water, and gazing out over my very English garden....we are such a global village aren't we?
How do you research your characters locations?
A/N: Aside from personal experience, here's a few places I usually hit when researching locations - the Information Super Highway, Libraries, Twitter, - do you have any favourite sources for research?