In November of 2014, I flew to Los Cabos and spent nine days exploring the southeast corner of the Baja Peninsula researching the location for my novel House of the Blue Sea. Here’s part three of what I learned:
Check out the local architecture. You don’t have to travel very far to find people living and working in structures much different from what you’re familiar with. Take note of what buildings are constructed of, their size, shape, colours and style.
Speaking of colours, they are so important to capturing a place. Is that indigo or azure or would your character maybe describe it as rain barrel blue? My main character is an artist so colour is key for her and, therefore, for me.
Put your feet in the sand, or soil, or grass. Feel it between your toes, its temperature, its textures. If your story takes place in winter, maybe wear socks.
Take loads of photos! See something interesting, unusual or beautiful? Take a photo, even if you have no idea how it might relate to your story. You’ll be surprised at the details you benefit from later.
And don’t forget to relax and just soak it all in. Writers need time to recharge those creative batteries.
More Researching Place in the next installment!