I struggled for a long time trying to write effective scenes set in The Sound. I couldn’t seem to move my trio of protagonists from the lake to the library with any clarity or effective pacing. I believe that was because I hadn’t taken the time to create the stage set of my fictional Muskoka cottage town.
In the process I discovered something interesting about my writing and myself; I’m intensely visual. Before I could write those scenes I needed to storyboard my town. I had to know each store, each building, each streetlight, tree and alleyway along the main street.
I wish I could find an easier way of world building – it’s a real pain-in-the-neck process – but for now, it’s what I need to do.
So, in 2009 I travelled to Canada trying to find the perfect main street for The Sound. Of course it doesn’t exist, but from visiting the many seasonal towns dotted around cottage country I identified the buildings that I wanted to use to build my main street. From the photographs I took on that trip and hours of drawing and planning, I could finally piece together a solid visual map of The Sound.
I only had an iPhone with me but here are some of the photographs I used for my storyboard. Click on any image to enlarge or view all images in a slideshow.