This is the second post that bears the same title of the one I’ve used for last year’s A to Z challenge and once again I can say that the two are connected.
You’d know by now that I write what I know and what I’ve researched for. You also know that I set my stories in places I’ve visited and that I’ve attended my university in Naples for five years.
Despite being very lazy and paranoid for my own security, hence having not visited a lot of it, I have a clear idea about a few spots I want to use for my novel.
I want to use for sure the historical center and the underground city that goes back to the Roman age. I’ve used the airport and Arzano already.
I think I’ll be using other areas of it but most importantly I’m pretty sure about the flavor of the place: the sounds, smells and sensations you perceive in Naples are different from the other cities, even the most chaotic ones like for example Rome.
I know that it’s quite hard to convey all this on a piece of paper, but it will be my duty as writer at lest attempt to portray the scenes with that unique flavor.
Still in region Campania, but an hour far from Naples, there is Avellino, which kind of look like a mini Naples under some aspects although completely different and with a charm of its own. But it’s not Avellino itself I’ll use; what I will write about will be areas around it, which I visited usually in the weekends and after I moved back home in Tuscany, because it was there that some dear friends of mine live.
I will then use Ariano Irpino and Manocalzati, both surrounded by the mountains. This will be the home of Marta, the strongest of my characters.
While Persefone will grow up in Naples, precisely in Arzano.
I hope that the fact of having lived in those places, at least for a while, will give me the right insight to make the scenes believable despite the fact I’m writing a urban fantasy.
Last time that I tried to make this with Volterra, I was told that reading my book seemed like reading a guidebook. I don’t think it was a fair comment, since came from a negative person just for the sake of it, but I hope I’ll find he right balance in order to give reality to a fantastic story.
What do you think?
Any tip to reach the balance?
Do you write about what you know or you just guess about real places?
Write to me in the comments below!