All my stories are set someplace else. Someplace that sparks my interest and captures my attention. Stories that I could set anywhere, I never set in the place where I'm at.
In London, in York, in Quebec, in all different cities around the United States. Some places I know, some I've been to only once, some never. Some are imagined and made real through my words.
These places are where my characters are born, where they live, where their story is told. I tell myself, 'When I fly away, I will go to one of these places and write.'
Do I need to?
I've written an entire novel in a place I have never been to. I doubt I will before I aim to seek a literary agent and have it published.
Should I have to?
I have never visited or lived in this place but even if I did, I wrote the book in a completely different time period which I cannot visit. I write from the perspectives of characters I am nothing like. Gender I am not. Age I am not. Nationality I am not. Sexuality I am not. Marital status I have not. Upbringing I had not.
What difference is setting?
Where do you set your novels and stories? Are they places you know? Places you were born in or live in? Are they places you have visited and were fond of? Places you dream of seeing? Time periods in the distant past? Even places that you have invented from nothing...
Which is easier, preferable, fascinating?