Wow. Last night got super busy for me. I was writing my last new detective scene for the night and needed to know which PDQ (neighborhood police station) would be the one to serve Victoriaville, Quebec, which is where part of my story takes place. My detective was currently in Montreal and needed to make a quick trip to Victoriaville to try and find some missing characters. I was just going to get this tiny piece of information and then finish the scene and go to bed.
I opened a can of worms! First thing I discovered is that Victoriaville is two hours outside of Montreal, and therefore not serviced by the PDQ. Huh. That meant I had to go back and change several scene locations and references to the PDQ. It also meant this wasn't going to be a quick trip, but rather an overnight stay in Victoriaville. I actually got really nervous and started thinking, "Maybe none of this story takes place in Montreal at all!" But then I checked my area codes and calmed down. Yes, Montreal was the right city for my detective to examine first. (Funny how these stories write themselves sometimes.)
Next thing I discovered, as I'm pouring over the Victoriaville city website and exercising the gift of tongues (I don't speak any French), is that Victoriaville is actually so small, it has no police station! Well. So where do the citizens go? A few more google searches showed me all police type thingies in the area. I picked the closest one--nope, that one's emergencies only, not arrests and detentions. Okay, next. Nope, that one's the RCMP--Canadian equivalent to the FBI. See, in this book, the RCMP are the good guys and the police are the bad guys. So we couldn't have it be the RCMP. Next one, and I thought this one would be it. A police station in Drummondville. I thought. It was hard to tell because again the website was entirely in French.
I placed my scene in Drummondville and continued to write when my mind suddenly put the word "Ecole" together with what I'd seen on the website and I realized, "This isn't a police station. It's a police academy." Doh! How embarrasing that would've been! So, next one out. A real police station, I believe. Whew! I got my scene placed in a city, and I got the distances from one city to the next, thanks to google maps.
And it was an hour past when I thought I'd finish for the night.
Anyone want to come with me on a research tour of Victoriaville, Canada?