blogging, Research, Uncategorized, world-building, Writers Co-op

Being There

Seeing something helps a writer to describe it. Actually being in a setting lets the words choose themselves. Take the inside of the International Space Station, for example, one of the most advanced miracles of modern technology to have ever been built by mankind. It’s a mess. The room I’m in now is maybe 20 feet wide by 20 feet high by, maybe, a little longer. The white and grey walls are totally covered with color-coded cables, cases, boxes and storage packs. And there are wall panels that slide out like file cabinet drawers to allow access to the experiments being conducted inside. Not a spec of space is wasted on the four walls. You can’t walk on any of them. No floors needed here. Just float between the walls. I guess that explains the four laptop computers fixed at impossible angles. No up or down. Just float over and use one. The panel sections lining the walls are marked by metal strips to which, as astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, of the European Space Agency, showed me, she can attach shower safety hand bars (OKAY, she called them something else.) She uses the bars to hold onto when she’s working. She can also slip her stocking feet (no shoes needed here) under the bar to hold herself in place while she completes an appointed task. Or, attach a camera like the one giving me this inside view.

Yes. It’s virtual reality. But how else am I getting aboard the ISS to see what kind of socks astronauts wear? Or watch the sun rise over the rooftops of London, from a rooftop in London, and turn to see the The Shard sticking up a thousand feet into the sky? Or stand among Parisians in a little park and be the only one rubbernecking the Eiffel Tower towering above me? All without leaving my writing desk.

The little tripper lets you describe settings by putting you inside them. It’s cheap. A $20 viewer will let you use your cell phone to watch YouTube 360 videos of just about any place people can get to today. I recommend virtual reality to any writer without a twenty million dollar travel budget for a ticket to the space station.


10 thoughts on “Being There

  1. Perry Palin says:

    I have two friends who are fine writers. Neither have a lot of money. One is trying to raise a stake for a research trip to New Orleans. The other says he needs to go to Eastern Europe to write a part of his novel. Maybe virtual reality will help with their research. Not nearly as much fun as the actual trips, but we do what we can.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mimispeike says:

    It’s maddening how difficult it is to get information that you would think would be easily available. How big was the walled city of Hamelin? How long would it have taken to enter a city gate and walk to the riverfront? I’ve searched and searched. Maybe if I contacted the tourism board of Hameln. My husband would have to do it for me. Why do I obsess over it? This is, after all, a book about a talking cat.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mimispeike says:

    Well, GD, I am a nitpicker. I’ve picked at the plots of a few on here, but, believe me, I’m as bad or worse on myself. I’m always asking myself, where have I got it wrong, that people can jump on? In terms of logic, mostly.

    Readers can jump on a lot of other stuff and I don’t care. The footnotes, the intrusion, etc. That’s the way I think. I can’t write any other way. it’s the logic that I worry about. Where have I contradicted myself? What step have I left out?

    Liked by 1 person

    • GD Deckard says:

      You need BETA readers. Tell them what to look for. They’ll put your mind to rest because you can forget about what they don’t find & fix what they do. Maybe, you could look for a European historical group on FB, join them, become known, and then ask for BETA readers. 🙂 You might even find someone who lives in Hamelin.

      Liked by 3 people

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