1. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    New York, New York!

    Discussion in 'Research' started by writewizard, Feb 26, 2010.

    I think this is the correct forum...

    I'm trying to create a novel and I need to place where the characters live. Originally I had decided to place them in Ohio, but I would love to place the novel some place in downtown New York City, as the father is a prestigious lawyer and the mother a real estate agent and I don't exactly see them living in our little Ohio, as nice as it is. How hard would it be to adapt a writing style of New York City? I've never been there, but with a little research, it can be pulled off, right? What should I know about New York?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, like anything, the answer is yes and no.

    I guess enough research could garner you the information you need, but the New Yorker knows his/her New York very, very well, so....
     
  3. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    That's true. It would probably take at least a visit.
    Where else could I put the family, then, that wouldn't be *quite* New York, but wouldn't be Ohio? Not that there's anything wrong with Ohio, but that some individuals [like the lawyer in my story] wouldn't want to live in a "boring" state.
     
  4. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think a worthy investment would be to at least visit there for a few weeks, and really get a feel for the people there. Enough research would give you the flat descriptions and settings, but being there would garnish it with the color and emotion that is necessary. You probably would want to have some long chats with a few of them too. :/

    Edit: You can find excitement in even the most boring of places.
     
  5. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    Oh, I know. I love Ohio dearly. But I just don't see it as the place setting for a novel... I think I want my lawyer to be somewhat famous, and we don't bring in many famous individuals.
     
  6. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why don't you try the West Coast then?
     
  7. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    That would be better, I could see them moving some place like Miami and Florida, and that would put a little more pizazz in their daily lifestyle. Thanks! :D

    {or did I get my NESW messed up?}
     
  8. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah that's East Coast haha. I meant like LA or the hills or some Cali city. A lot of rich people tend to flock here for the excitement. Florida is full of old people.
     
  9. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I think you have to live somewhere to write about it, or at least make a few trips. I've tried to write about modern London, but it didn't seem real without having the emotion and atmosphere that I knew I couldn't learn in research.
     
  10. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    Unfortunetly yes... Maybe I could place them in Philidelpha PA. I am going there this summer after all.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You ave to start with the understanding that it's the greatest city in the world. It's so great, you have to say its name twice.

    Seriously, it's difficult to capture the feel of New York without visiting there. Or the feels of it, because it isn't the same throughout. Even among East Coast USA cities, New York it stands apart. I'm not in love with the city, but it has a very unique character.
     
  12. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    There are a ton of other big cities that could work just as well, and could possibly prove more interesting. New York has a lot to offer, but so do Buffalo, Chicago, Phillidelphia, Boston, Cincinnati, a ton of cities on the West coast... I mean in order to write any city accurately it will take some research, but I think New York could prove to be incredibly difficult to really capture. Unfortunately with big cities you can't get away with making one up. My book is set in rural Minnesota so it was easy to just create a small town to plunk down there, but with big cities there isn't really that luxury...
     
  13. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    Watch every SATC episode, plus both films?
    Listen to Frank Sinatra and Lisa Minelli over and over and over again?
    Write about the town you are familiar with untill life brings you to N.Y. and writing about it comes flowing?
     
  14. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    What's SATC?
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sex and the City
     
  16. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    Thanks! I really like all of your suggestions. Maybe there will be a way I can finagle living there. I love New York, hence why I want to set my scenes there.
     
  17. LtFrankie
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    I think one important question is *where* in New York? There's 5 boroughs. Staten Island, IIIRC is practically a suburb inside the city.

    Queens, where I live is literally the most ethnically diverse county, and more and more of the people tend to be foreign born. Queens has a mix of some suburban areas and urban areas.

    Manhattan..haven't been there much, but I know for a fact that Queens and likely the Bronx/Brooklyn doesn't fit in the typical view of NYC. Manhattan is probably the one borough where it's full of skyscraper after skyscraper, where the sky is grey-ish at night due to all the lights in the city.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    why do you love ny?... what do you know about it that made you fall in love with it?

    i'm an ex-ny'er, so if you want some insider info, drop me a line...

    i was born and raised in the suburbs of nyc, my father worked in the city for 40 years, i worked there summers, while in high school, then moved there in the early 90's, living across the street from lincoln center, in a luxury, doormaned high rise... some years later, i lived for a while in the south bronx haitian/dominican ghetto, in a 4th-floor walkup...

    so, i've spent much time in all parts of the city, over the years... can give you all kinds of info...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     

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