Monday, 19 November 2012


You may know that I decided to write ROGUE because of my semester abroad in Germany. I wanted to write a novel set in an exotic* location, but be able to experience it first-hand.

So far the novel has taken place either in locations I can’t easily access (US embassy, Berlin, etc.) or in generic locations (hotel room, freeway, etc.). But I’m just a few chapters away from writing about an event which takes place in a real and accessible location.

Excursion time!

Last Sunday I had some free time, so I decided to head to Cologne to scout out the scene of an assassination. It was raining and miserable where I’m living, but my phone said it wasn’t too bad in Cologne.

Unfortunately, my phone’s a liar: it was pretty crappy in Cologne too.

The assassin's position is on the roof of the building, right next to the flag pole. (Also, look at the sky. Crappy weather. AND it was raining...)
I found my way to the (wow, this is awkward. I can’t remember the English word for it…*thinks*) Town Hall without too much trouble. In hindsight, I realise I took the long way there – it took me nearly ten minutes to get there from the train station, but only three to get back!

The target will stand outside the Rathaus (Town Hall). Ignore the construction site.
Because it was cold and rainy, I didn’t spend too much time at the Town Hall. That’s okay, because I’d already scoped the area via Google Maps. I snapped a few pictures and checked that everything was the same as I’d pictured it after having a bird’s-eye view of the area.

What about you? Have you ever done any hands-on research for your WIP? How did it go? Let me know in the comments section below!

* Technically every location is exotic for someone, but that’s a whole new topic.


  1. The inciting incident for my WIP takes place in a stretch of parkway/forest/stuff I've been to many times.

    It gives you an intimate perspective that photos can't really convey -- and it's probably easier to visualize when it comes do doing the scenes.

    Jealous of your Germany experience!:)

  2. Hi Christopher!

    You're right - seeing the location for yourself is so much better than simply looking at images on Google Maps! Thanks for reading!