writing novels using google maps

Victorian terrace houses in Carlton

my architectural muse for my gothic novel

How wonderful is Google Maps for novel research? I imagine it’s especially excellent for when you’re setting your book in a distant location, but even a reminder of local geography comes in handy. I set Indigo in a house I used to live in (one of the terraces pictured). I can’t get access to it anymore, but seeing the shots from above and even the facade is so helpful for jogging my memory, even for remembering the feel of the place. I’ve played with the architecture only slightly (and in ways that an easy renovation might achieve) because I have a kind of respect for that house, the facade giving little warning of how looming and creeping and sprawling it was. The big elm out the front has been replaced by a baby one now, giving more of a stark feel. I think I’ll write about this house in my next post. I’ve been re-inhabiting it as I write my Indigo sequel.

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