Friday, May 24, 2013

Pardon Me While I Back The Bus Up


by Sue Ann Jaffarian
 
Okay, okay ... I know last week’s question was on favorite reference materials and this week is my week to post, but I just have to put my 2 cents in about my favorite reference tool or I’m gonna bust: 

GOOGLE MAPS!!!! 

I love using Google Maps, especially the zoom feature, when I'm writing. It's a great tool when I have to describe places, roads, routes, etc. or know the relationship of cities to each other in both distance and travel time, or what buildings are on which streets and intersections. Or even if it’s rural or developed. It’s almost as good as getting in the car and driving the area. Even better if you factor in time and gas.

Right now, this very minute, I have 2 different Google maps up while I work on my current manuscript and I'm using both of them to give readers an idea of where the story is taking Emma and Granny. Here's a hint.

 

I also use Google Images when I need to picture something specific in order to describe it. What can I say, I’m a very visual person.

Another great resource is the online Farmer’s Almanac. If you want to know what the usual weather is for a place, that's the best place to go, especially if you're looking for historical weather, which I sometimes use in my Granny Apples books.
 
The Internet is a virtual cornucopia of useful information at my fingertips and I use it as much as I can.

Now if you’ll excuse me, according to the online Date Calculator, I have just 10 days to get GHOST OF A GAMBLE to my publisher.

P.S.: I want to be Jessica Fletcher of Murder She Wrote. She's retired and spends her days writing and snooping around. And she lives in a cute, albeit homicide-riddled, Maine village.

3 comments:

Chris said...

YES THIS. I typically write with Google Maps open. Not only does it help create verisimilitude, its street view occasionally inspires my stories to change direction.

Catriona McPherson said...

Jessica Fletcher! I want to change mine now. I'd be her for the seafood alone

Meredith Cole said...

I've used Google Maps, too--great feature (especially if you're writing a story set where you're not...). I've never used the Farmer's Almanac before--great suggestion, Sue Ann!