Writing Challenge: Mapping It Out, Fictionally Speaking

pushpinsHere’s this week’s WordPress.com Writing Challenge: “…incorporate our Google Maps embed feature by plotting out some of the favorite places that you’ve been, or the places you want to go.”

Now, that sounds like great fun, especially since I could plot out my birthday vacation to Ireland in 2010. But I decided to take a slightly different route. This blog is often focused on the saga that is my road to finishing my first novel, The Great Boyfriend Experiment (GBE for short) and life in general. What you might not know is that the two cities in which my story is set are not fake towns created and designed for my and my character’s amusement. (I’ll save for later the story of Kilcavan, TX, the fictional city I literally mapped out in significantly scary detail using Visio diagrams and Excel charts for use in two different interwoven series.)

Instead, GBE is set in Kalispell, Montana, a lovely place I visit now and then, and fell in love with at first sight out of the plane’s window. My honorary aunt and her family live there, and V is very kind in letting me stay with her whenever I feel the need for a change of pace. I also plan to “retire” there someday, if I can swing all that’s involved in relocating. Until then, I’m based in the other city where GBE begins and concludes: Austin, TX.

The Maps

So I went to Google maps to get the layout of Kalispell, and found that I liked the default map Google showed much better than the one I could embed on the page, so I’m adding a capture of that image instead. Places of note: a hop and a skip west of the city airport is our heroine’s neighborhood; Flathead Valley Community College where our heroine takes classes and meets our hero is about 2 miles north of the red A marker on Highway 93.


Now for something completely different, here’s the image capture of Texas’ capital city Austin. Places of note: our heroine’s family lives northwest in the Jollyville area; the job our heroine left behind when she moved to Kalispell is just past downtown in Rollingwood; the University of Texas at Austin, our heroine’s alma mater, is somewhere behind the red A marker, as is the Rio Grande campus of Austin Community College that she attended as well.


So there you have it, the two major cities of my current work in progress. I’m now thinking that I should revisit this topic at a later date and identify on a map all of the places referenced during the course of the novel once it’s done. Wouldn’t that be interesting!


Author: Nikki B.

IT Ops Girl Friday by day, wannabe Writer by night who's attempting to finish just one of her many novels. Follow the saga on Wordpress!