Tag Archives: on location

Scoping out locations for your novel #3: Road Trip! (Contes Farm)

In scoping out locations in South Jersey for my new Novel, I needed a farm that was between point A and an airport.  Last week, we visited the airport, and it was perfect.  Would the farm be that good?

I clicked on the GPS and started driving.  First problem:  It’s too far away.  I need it far away, but not this far.  There is another farm option, but that one is actually too close to its local airport.

Erghhh!  The woes of real-life locations.

As I’m driving though, I figure out a way to make it work.  I just need to tweak something just a little bit.  Yeah, I decided, it will work, and it will be much easier than trying to make the one that’s too close to the airport “fit” into the story.

We headed out into farm country, and I kept repeating:  “Please be surrounded by woods… please be surrounded by woods.”

We turned onto a road, and pulled up to the small farm-stand building. Conte’s Farm.  Hmmm… not as grand as I had expected, but the building is not important.  I dragged all the kids out of the car, and announced we were going out into the fields to pick our own fruit.  Boy, did their faces light up!

It’s funny, with all the things they were guessing as we were driving, I was afraid they would be disappointed.  Wow, were they excited.

We went to the back and got our baskets.  “So, how does this work?” I asked.

“He’ll be there in a minute to bring you out,” she said.

Much to my joy, and my kid’s excitement, a tractor pulled up with a big trailer attached with seats on it.

Perfect, since I’d already written this scene, and there was a tractor in it.  We loaded up and he pulled us out into the fields which were HUGE.  Much bigger than I had written, but that’s fine.  An easy fix.

I shielded my eyes, and scanned the far reaches of the fields.  They were surrounded on three sides with a very thick forest.  Wahooo!  And the woods were even on the correct side, heading toward the airport.

Happiness abounding, we set out to pick our strawberries and had a blast.  “Nice tractor guy” picked us up a while later and dropped us off at the blueberry fields.  The weather was perfect, and we had tons of fun picking fruit.

Note of caution-if everyone in your group has their own buckets, you may be coming home with five pounds of blueberries… Just say’n.

Anyway… next hurdle…

As we checked out, I asked if they have anything fruiting in August (That’s when my novel takes place, and I really didn’t want to change that.)

“Yes, that’s peach season.”

YES!  I’d already written about peaches… and I was worried, because they didn’t mention peaches on their web-site.

Two locations down… the farm and the airport.

Point A would be a little more of a trip… for another day.

My next challenge is to find a hotel within a reasonable distance to this farm.

That, unfortunately, may be the hardest part of all of this.  I might have to make one up.

What do you think of “making up” a location, where all other locations are “real”?  I may be able to fudge it, by being hazy on the address of the hotel.  Whaddya think?