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  1. #1
    miranda july Guest

    Default need help on fictional cross country trip route

    i have a terrible sense of geography so help me out here. this fictional driver is going from NYC to seattle in three days (or four? does that make more sense?) the first day she is not thinking about where she is going and she does not take the most the direct route. She stops at the end of this first day (where?) and stays at a motel. the next day she sets out on the quickest most direct route to seattle. what route is this? what cities does she pass through? She makes a phone call about 3 hours before she enters seattle, where is she at this time? and where would she be two hours later, when she makes another phone call? and when she finally exits in seattle, what is the name of this exit, leading to a residential neighborhood? thank you for helping me! i managed to write the whole story just writing ____ for every place-name. mj

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default fast, even for fiction

    If your driver isn't heading on the most direct route from NYC to Seattle from the very start, 4 days will be the minimum needed for your story to be even close to reality.

    You could maybe do something like, have her go to Niagra Falls on her first night, then have her take I-90 all the way to Seattle, going through cities like Cleveland, Chicago, Madison, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Billings, Helena, and Spokane.

    Spokane would be the logical choice for a major city about 3 hours from Seattle, although its actually closer to 4 or 5, I think. Perhaps Judy, who's from Seattle will be on to give you some more ideas.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default We normally charge for editorial services...

    Quote Originally Posted by miranda july
    i have a terrible sense of geography so help me out here. this fictional driver is going from NYC to seattle in three days (or four? does that make more sense?) the first day she is not thinking about where she is going and she does not take the most the direct route. She stops at the end of this first day (where?) and stays at a motel. the next day she sets out on the quickest most direct route to seattle. what route is this? what cities does she pass through? She makes a phone call about 3 hours before she enters seattle, where is she at this time? and where would she be two hours later, when she makes another phone call? and when she finally exits in seattle, what is the name of this exit, leading to a residential neighborhood? thank you for helping me! i managed to write the whole story just writing ____ for every place-name. mj
    MJ, a solo driver can not cover this distance in less than five days. This board is not really the best place to do fact-checking for your novel/story. I will let the thread stand, for now, if the roadtripping community likes it -- but...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Well, I'm not from Seattle.....I'm in a little town you've probably never heard of on the coast over 100 miles from Seattle....but I'll be glad to try and help a bit.

    Spokane is about 4-5 hours from Seattle.

    Moses Lake, WA, is about 3 hours from Seattle so that would work. It's a rather nice small city on a big lake.

    2 hours later, about 1 hour from Seattle, there are no towns where a phone call could be made from. 1 hour from Seattle, you are on the top of Snoqualmie Pass. There are various ski lodges you could stop and place a call from. A search for "The Summit of Snoqualmie Pass" might give you some more specifics.

    But Snoqualmie Pass is really only about 35-40 minutes from the Bellevue/Issaquah areas of the greater Seattle area. So do you really mean Seattle itself or are you including the suburban and small cities surrounding Seattle when you say Seattle? So, if you are really meaning this bigger area instead of Seattle itself as your boundary, then you would be in Cle Elum when you are about an hour from the Issaquah/Bellevue area. But then this throws off the time from Moses Lake as well. Does this make sense?

    There are virtually hundreds of residential neighborhoods in Seattle with dozens of exits. I have no idea how to answer this question. What kind of neighborhood are you looking for? Types of homes? Socio-economic status of the types of peopel who would live there? Types of nearby activities? You can live in the hills, on one of the lakes, in neighborhoods that have strong identification with certain ethnic groups, etc. Do you want this area to be in the urban or suburban areas? Nearer the mountains or nearer the Sound? Seattle is a big place with lots of variety. And, if you're thinking the greater Seattle area which includes the suburbs and adjacent cities like Bellevue, Renton, Kirkland, Bothell, Auburn, etc. the choices grow exponentially.

    I have read stories that claim to be situated in the PNW where it is clear that the writer really had little knowledge of this area. To me, that's a turn-off, to be honest. I would suggest you do some more research and don't just try to insert place names.
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 12-17-2005 at 08:00 AM. Reason: To add further info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Absolutely the best advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    I have read stories that claim to be situated in the PNW where it is clear that the writer really had little knowledge of this area. To me, that's a turn-off, to be honest. I would suggest you do some more research and don't just try to insert place names.
    As you know Megan is a novelist and, in our view, fiction has to be more truthful than any non-fiction book ever written. All of Megan's novels are extensively researched and, in fact, we ended up living in Las Vegas as a result of her research for her first novel -- the protagonist lives in Las Vegas...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Good for Megan! Seriously, there's nothing worse than a novel set in a place that doesn't have any resemblance to that place at all. Most people who read it may not know the difference but, to those that live there, it is maddening.

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