Creating Setting & Using the Moonlight
What is more romantic than a kiss under the moonlight? I love having a romantic scene in my writing under the moonlight. For me, setting is an extra element, once mastered, that can "amp" up the romance in a story.
Before I write, I research the setting. The first thing I attempt to do is visit the setting. It really helps give a writer a solid idea of what the place is like. In 1997, I had an opportunity to visit Budapest on a USO morale trip when I was deployed to Hungary.
It was wonderful! Budapest is filled with romantic sights, the Széchenyi Bridge, the Danube River, and Fisherman's Bastian – just to name a few. It was a visit that visually resonated with me.
If I can't visit my setting, I get on the Internet and check out pictures. I print off what I can. I check out maps so I can learn the lay of the streets.
I also look at the history of the setting. Hungary was a crossroads nation in Central Europe with several cultures coming to pass through and settle there. The seven towers on Fisherman's Bastian represent the seven Magyar tribes that settled there.
Then I try to do a little extra: what types of food are served there? Does the setting make wine? What are the seasons like there? What do they do for the holidays? I try to blend those subtle things into the story's settings. In The Hungarian, Matthias is a wine maker who makes tokaji, a Hungarian dessert wine. He has an estate on Lake Balaton, and his favorite view is that of the Danube and the Parliament building from his study.
5 Cool things about Budapest:
1. The Széchenyi Bridge: It was built in the 1840's and was one of the world's first suspension bridges.
2. Fisherman's Bastian: Built in 1901-1902, this is a ½ mile wall along Buda Hill.
3. The Danube
4. The Parliament Building. This was built in 1896.
5. Goulash soup. It's hearty and meaty, and will keep you warm in winter!
Link to The Hungarian book trailer:
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