7 cool destinations for your next novel – part 2

While I’m in Gothenburg (Book Fair) … 

There are about a million different things you need to think about when you’re writing a novel. You have to come up with a compelling storyline, unique characters, a thrilling plot twist, and of course, the ideal location. Obviously, it’s easy to fall back on some of the more frequently used… We’ve all read at least 100 novels set in New York City, but if you’re looking for something to set your book apart, there’s nothing better than a unique, detailed, exciting location for the backdrop of your story.

With that in mind, here are 7 cool destinations to bring your latest novel to the next level! 💃📚☕️  

1.Johannesburg, South Africa

Africa is one of the least written about places in the world. Though it often gets the reputation as a poor, war torn, third world country, South Africa (especially its capital Johannesburg) is incredibly rich in cultural, technology, and interesting places to see. Also, it served as a key city in one of the greatest rights movements in human history. If you want to write a novel with a diverse cast and have an interest in exploring racial relations and how they directly impact modern times – there’s no better background. But, beyond its complex and emotional history, Johannesburg is also just a generally fun place, complete with a massive amusement park, cool shopping centers, and even the potential for African wildlife safaris.🐯🦁

2. Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is the 8th largest city in Japan and happens to be one of the biggest tourist destinations due to its stunning temples, beautiful geishas, historic castles, and fine dining. Immerse your characters in the rock garden at Ryoanji Temple, let them embrace their inner geek at the Kyoto International Manga Museum, and let them have one of the best first dates of their life at the monkey park on top of Mount Arashiyama. 🐒😲 With plenty of historical sites, unique restaurants, and playful animals, no matter where you end up taking your characters in Kyoto, there’s always an abundance of things to do – plus, never-ending possibilities for real adventure!

3. Vancouver, Canada

Surprisingly, Canada has more than just freezing winters and people who apologize a little too much… Vancouver, one of the hidden gems of North America, is a fantastic city for your outdoor loving character. Stanley Park – one of the biggest tourist attractions in all of Canada, has over 1,000 acres to explore, with beautiful waterside fronts and lush greenery.🐲 If wandering for hours outdoors isn’t exactly your characters favorite thing in the world, Yaletown is the hottest place to be – clubs, boutiques, fine dining, and one of the best hotels in the city, OPUS Vancouver. Or, maybe the Vancouver Aquarium, which has over 50,000 different animals, is the perfect place for your character to bump into the person of their dreams? 😜 With plenty of indoor and outdoor activities, Vancouver has something for everyone!

4. Sydney, Australia

Known for the massive opera house and incredible beaches, Sydney can be the perfect backdrop for a summer romance, or a compelling ocean-front mystery. The Sydney Harbour Bridge can be the perfect place for a sensual first kiss or a dramatic murder over the ocean. Darling Harbour, full of museums, shopping centers, and the worlds largest film screen, can be an adorable place for an awkward first date 😻 💅, or a confusing maze for your protagonist to chase the villain through. 👽👺🏃‍♂️ Regardless of what you want to write, all the different beaches, museums, and historical landmarks can make for an entertaining and compelling backdrop to any story.

5. Colorado, United States of America

Located in the middle of the United States, Colorado is one of the most scenic locations in the nation. With the beautiful Rocky Mountains less than an hour away from its capital city, Colorado is the best place for your character who loves winter sports. ☃️❄️With beautiful ski towns like Aspen and Breckenridge, your character can have a whirlwind winter romance in the mountains. ⛷ 😜 Or, if your character is a bigger fan of city life, Boulder, home to one of the largest college campuses in the state, has an abundance of theaters, music festivals, and sporting events for your character to interact with. Regardless of where they end up in Colorado… there are unique, exciting locations, and plenty of interesting things to do. 🥳

6. Budapest, Hungary

One of the hidden gems of Europe, Budapest is home to one of the wildest late-night scenes in the world. During the day there are world-class museums, shopping, cafes, and island parks. Known as the “City of Spas” nothing is quite as quintessential to Budapest as their thermal baths, heated by natural thermal springs. But when the night falls, your character can find themselves caught in a raging club scene late into the evening. 🖤🍺🍷🥃🍸🍹🍾 Full of bars, dance halls, and even discos, there are countless places over the city for your character to find themselves engaged in a whirlwind romance, a dark mystery, or a well-crafted horror story. 🏹👻🙀

7. Chile, South America  

Chile is one of the most vibrant and beautiful places in all of South America. Torres del Paine National Park has stunning water-front views and mile after mile of lush greenery for your character to play in. Or, for your more playful type, Isla Magdalena, home to thousands of penguins can be a perfect destination. For when your character returns to the city, ValparaÍso is the street art capital of South America, and one of the most vibrant places to be as well. And of course, there’s the mysterious Easter Island. 🗿 There’s never a dull moment in Chile… making it a great setting for any type of novel! ☕️📚

Where are you going to write about next? Will it be historic Johannesburg, cultural Kyoto, scenic Vancouver, oceanic Sydney, adventurous Colorado, vibrant Budapest, mysterious Chile, or any of the other amazing, interesting places in the world? Location can make or break a novel, so don’t be afraid to try something new or standout from the crowd.

Ray’s next locations:

  • for a crime novel – a small town called Trosa (Sweden), link to the city-homepage
  • for a thriller – Palermo, Istanbul, Jerusalem. 


Next post – “The Pearl Territory”, ch. 21 – Elin #personaljournal 


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60 Responses

  1. Saw only Budapest. How depressing.

  2. alexraphael says:

    Love these kinds of posts. And Kyoto would be a dream.

  3. jackcollier7 says:

    Very cool sweetheart ❤

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      😜💕 what would be your destination in the novel? pls choose something outside of the list 😂😂

  4. So agree with you on Johannesburg. It’s a stunning place. So many different strands to it. Plus it’s one of those places which feels so full of life.

  5. kinkyacres says:

    Santa Ynez Valley!

  6. kinkyacres says:

    The real “Love of my life”

  7. kinkyacres says:

    Thank you, I like it!

  8. Sorryless says:

    Imma go with Kyoto. Even though Vancouver is quite beautiful.

  9. Will have to see all before I decide to write a novel. Correct setting is very important! 😎😎

  10. Great list, VR. Got my bag packed to do some local color research.

  11. K E Garland says:

    I loved Kyoto! It was my fav Japanese city.

  12. librepaley says:

    Thanks for reminding us that in writing, we can travel in time and space. Um, Vancouver please.

  13. Edwin says:

    Dublin. Beer by the pint, rooms for cheap, and urine in the alleyways. Always a good backdrop for a romantic comedy.

    • Edwin says:

      After all, wouldn’t you appreciate a man who proposes to you while kneeling in a puddle of piss?

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      I love ❤️ Dublin…so why not? 🙂

      • Edwin says:

        I have three European cities on my bucket list. Dublin is #1.

      • Victoria Ray NB says:

        Yes great place to visit…I been maybe 7-9 times.

      • Victoria Ray NB says:

        One of my favorites too 🙂

      • Edwin says:

        #2 — Vienna. #3 — Helsinki

      • Victoria Ray NB says:

        I had some fun in Helsinki 😂 very interesting place by night 👻😉
        Vienna too. Ah.. the museum of modern art is delicious 😅

      • Edwin says:

        I enjoy classical music and visual art also. Vienna seems to be a haven for artists. Helsinki is interesting to me on several fronts. I can give or take the nightlife. They have a unique non-medical treatment for schizophrenia (and other mental conditions) called Open Dialogue. Finland is also on the cutting edge of eradicating homelessness. Scandinvia, in general interests me, but if I had to pick only one of them to visit, it would be Finland.

      • Victoria Ray NB says:

        Agreed about haven for artists (music etc). I never heard about “Open Dialogue” program or treatment…well, Finland is very cool place, but very cold 🥶 haha Are you ready? 😄

      • Edwin says:

        LOL. I spent a winter and a spring on the Bering Sea. That was 24 years ago. I hope to bring my Speedos with me to Helsinki. 😉

      • Victoria Ray NB says:

        😅 get ready for a lot of attention:) speedos are not so common in Finland 🇫🇮😂

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