Friday, 1 January 2010

Scene Visualizations: Try Foxtons.

Have you ever wrote the first draft, put it away for a few months and when you got back to it, couldn't remember what a room looked like? What the house looked like? What the character looked like? I sometimes have that problem. Maybe one of my minor character's bedrooms is featured but I cant remember the layout.

A possible solution? Try Foxtons. Or any estate agent's site.

What do I like about it? I LOOSELY base my houses and flats on listings found there.

1) I find a place that fits as closely as possible to what I have imagined in my mind.

2) Foxtons displays photos of the house, 360 degree virtual tours, and floor plans. I often save these photos to my computer for future reference.

3) My favorite feature is Streetview by Google. You can stand on the street and just stare at the house for awhile and maybe the look at the neighborhood -- get your bearings. Sometimes, I spend an hour or two just Google-walking the streets in the neighborhood. Go for a virtual-walk.

4) Label your pictures clearly so that when you do your edits, if you need a reference, you can look through the photos.

These are just some of the ideas I have. Any others?


Arlee Bird said...

Those are some good ideas. It's funny-- 2 of my daughters moved to New Jersey to work for Foxton's and it was a great gig while it lasted. The company closed up U.S. operations a couple of years ago which was too bad.

When I'm writing I've started to rely on Wikipedia for details like demographics and other info on cities and communities that I am writing about. I'd like to find a good source of weather info that I don't have to pay for-- I like to have accurate weather info about particular times that I am writing about.

Also, my National Geographic Road Atlas is a trusty companion when I'm writing sequences that involve travel or locales with which I'm not totally familiar.

Anonymous said...

Any chance that Google walk could take me back to 1864 Tennessee? 1860 Virginia? 1918 France?


Great ideas, Ann. I love the real estate idea in particular.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I've used Google's Streetview some...great idea on Foxtons.

Last summer I had to take a research trip to Memphis for my new series. I took pictures of absolutely *everything* (looked like a major, embarrassing tourist) since I didn't know what I might need in the other 2 books. Some things that I'd written had to be corrected--I couldn't tell on Google that Beale Street is always cordoned off. There's no driving on that street, and no on-street parking in the area. So I had to put in parking decks in my story and take out parking lots.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Ash. Elizabeth said...

I never heard of Streetview, but now that I have I'll be using it. Thanks.

Oh, and click over to my blog because I have an award for you : )

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Great ideas.

Ann Elle Altman said...

Lee, I use Wikipedia a lot but I have never tried using an atlas. That's a great idea!

Corra, can't take you back to the past but it would be nice, wouldn't it. To go back to the past I use google images.

Wow, you sure do a lot of work Elizabeth for your novels but I guess we all try to be as accurate as possible.

Ash. Elizabeth, thanks for your comment and your award, I will send out some links on my blog tomorrow.

Journaling woman, thanks for the comment. Glad you like the blog.