When I'm writing, I try not to get too bogged down in research, but sometimes a few visual cues are useful. In this case, the vampire story that I'm working on is set in Whitby.
You may know that the original Bram Stoker story of Dracula involves the Count landing in the UK at Whitby and taking the form of a dog. Whitby is in my home county of North Yorkshire, so it's somewhere that I've visited often, although now it's over 300 miles from home, so I couldn't just pop back and take a walk around the cobbled streets. This is where the google image search comes in.
Whitby is an old town, but recently, it's become home to some interesting Gothic-themed festivals. If you google for “Whitby goths” you'll find an amazing array of images. I just couldn't resist the Gothic tie in with my story, though me being me, I can't just take the obvious route.
For most of the year, Whitby is a small, fairly quiet seaside town with a family beach and good line in fish and chips. It's popular with tourists, especially in summer, but still manages to retain its seaside charm. In Victorian times, it was famed for its jet – a black stone used for jewellery and ornamentation. Even Queen Victoria wore jet, and there are still some nice jewellery shops in the town. It also has historical links with whaling and Captain Cook, who was from nearby Sleights.
The ruined abbey and churchyard are well worth a visit and very atmospheric in their own right – especially as the sun goes down. And of course, there are the 199 stone steps that lead up to the abbey. So all in all, it's a wonderful story setting.
Here's a Pinterest board of some of the images I used for the vampire horror story – I hope you find it interesting:
When I'm writing, I sometimes drag images into the research folder in Scrivener, but it's nice to be able to share them with you, and Pinterest is perfect for that.
Do you have a favourite way of gathering images for research when you're writing? Feel free to comment below.
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