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Old 03-06-2016, 07:46 PM
 
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I'm working on writing a book and the setting is in Colorado. I really want to use this state as the setting but, I dont know alot about Colorado. Can someone tell me if there are farms in Colorado? The book is about a girl who grew up on a farm in an old town in Colorado? Can anyone help me out?
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Eastern Colorado
3,768 posts, read 4,620,009 times
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How are you going to write a book based in an area you obviously know so little about? Why not have the setting in a place you may know a little about?
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:32 AM
 
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Those are my exact thoughts too. The end result could look nothing like the place being described. The book could be seen with even some hostility (natives sometimes get touchy about their home turf). I've toyed with the idea of writing a book too - several in fact - but I'd never write a book involving, say Massachusetts, which I've never been to.

Back to the original question, there are definitely farms in CO. They seem quite lackluster as subject material, so it's hard to imagine generating anything interesting there. There are of course old towns as well. I'm not sure though how much the two meet. The farms I've come across tend to be rural and away from the towns. Maybe an all-out fantasy tome could achieve a noticeable blip on the interest meter.
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:52 PM
 
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Go to your local library or bookstore and get everything you can by Kent Haruf (Plainsong, Eventide, etc.). His books are set in the Eastern Plains farm country, and it is extraordinary writing.

Setting it in the Colorado Great Plains isn't so hard, making the Colorado Great Plains interesting to someone who has never been West of Chicago or East of Las Vegas is more of a challenge.

Good luck.

P.S., I'll second the earlier recommendations about actually visiting the Colorado farm communities. Good research can make a huge difference in your final draft.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:21 AM
 
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Belongs in the main COLO forum, so I've moved it there.

Anything 15-50 miles east of I-25 will put you on the short-grass, dry-land, mostly treeless great plains or prairie .... which continues on east for 500-600 miles or more, to the Mississippi. Further east of there it does get wetter but stays flat almost to Pittsburgh. Huge area of the nation.

IMO any book about farming on the Great Plains can be used as background material to gain understanding the winds, fires and droughts of the Plains; like Willa Cather's "O Pioneers" that will tell you what it's like out there, along with the other 2 novels in her "prairie trilogy" that includes "Song of the Lark" and "My Antonia."

To an extent it seems that what the OP might be seeking to write was done a hundred years ago (above), but perhaps could be updated to a lonely girl on the prairie living through her smart phone....like the movie "Her" but from the other side of the gender coin.... hopefully not ending in death like that 13-year old girl killed back in VA after meeting some college students in a social website on her smart phone.

Besides the eastern COLO flat land prairie genre, there's the rip snorting gold-and-silver-rush mountain boom town kind of girl .... maybe an innocent pretty girl who's turned into a "Bette Midler" bodacious hell raiser or h o n k y -tonk madam ... miss Kitty with a heart of gold from Gunsmoke meets Richard Gere and Pretty Woman and transform into Pimp Mama.

Oh well, enough silliness, back to moderating the forums...
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:52 PM
 
Location: on a hill
346 posts, read 391,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckaroo17 View Post
Go to your local library or bookstore and get everything you can by Kent Haruf (Plainsong, Eventide, etc.). His books are set in the Eastern Plains farm country, and it is extraordinary writing.

Setting it in the Colorado Great Plains isn't so hard, making the Colorado Great Plains interesting to someone who has never been West of Chicago or East of Las Vegas is more of a challenge.

Good luck.

P.S., I'll second the earlier recommendations about actually visiting the Colorado farm communities. Good research can make a huge difference in your final draft.


I'll 2nd reading the late Kent Haruf's fine novels set in the fictitious eastern CO plains town of Holt. One can gain a real understanding of rural CO life from his writings. A literary genius and CO native who passed far too soon.
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:39 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,403 posts, read 39,722,706 times
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As an aspiring writer, Surely you have read Michener's Centennial, much of that was staged on the eastern Colorado plains.

That 'short' read will help you get your 'fictional' Colorado bearings. (Like Hollywood, it skips around the region a bit)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centennial_(novel)

My dad was 'farmed-out' during the depression to relatives in Haxtun, CO. He had some great stories. (Worthy of a book or two).

Btw... Since OP has not been to CO.... Ft Collins is not a lodgepole stockade. Be careful what you may envision, as your readers can be brutal.

You could grab a $15 fare on Frontier Air and fill your notebook with real stories from the few remaining Colorado pioneers. Hint: You are More likely to find them in small towns, than in Denver. / or posting on a forum... I have been able to fetch $12/ day rental cars, you can be on the Colorado prairie shooting prairie dogs in <5 minutes from DEN airport.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 03-08-2016 at 10:54 PM..
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,051 posts, read 2,079,489 times
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"Can someone tell me if there are farms in Colorado? The book is about a girl who grew up on a farm in an old town in Colorado?"

The simple answer is yes, we have farms in Colorado. They are all over the state. In some areas, they reasonably close to old towns, or at least as close as a farm could be.

If it is going to be a good book, the core of the story will be in the characters and their interaction, with the environment playing a supporting role. If its about Colorado first and the characters are secondary, then you are going to need to spend time here or risk writing something entirely out of context.

However, it also is a bit of a silly question as we have huge expanses of land that is farmable and this really sounds like a question from the perspective that we all live on the side of mountains plowing through snow half the year. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Great Plains terminate in Colorado which means half the state is grassland. There also are the huge parks in between mountain ranges that support a lot of agriculture. Places like the San Luis Valley, and North, Middle, and South Parks and even the high mountain valleys.

I'd also add that old is also a relative item in the scheme of it all. Old out here can't be past 1851, which is the date San Luis was established, the oldest town in Colorado, and there definetly is farming around there. There are a good number of farm communities that sprung up in the 1860-70 along the major water routes such as the Platte, Arkansas and Rio Grande. However it wasn't until we figured out how to create large scale irrigation that a large number of farming towns started to spring up after the turn of the 20th century and into the 1920 and 30s. Many of them still exist today and are small communities that continue support agriculture in their regions. They also can be found all around the state - Springfield in the southeast, Sterling in the northeast, Grand Junction to the west, even Denver at one time was an agricultural hub.

Last edited by TCHP; 03-11-2016 at 01:03 PM..
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Old 03-11-2016, 09:34 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janecool View Post
I'm working on writing a book and the setting is in Colorado. I really want to use this state as the setting but, I dont know alot about Colorado. Can someone tell me if there are farms in Colorado? The book is about a girl who grew up on a farm in an old town in Colorado? Can anyone help me out?
*cough*

Yes, there are farms and ranches in Colorado. Many posters here have mentioned the plains of Eastern Colorado, but I find the Western Slope to have the more viable and more interesting ranch and farm country. I live on a ranch in SW Colorado, and - no offense intended - but I can just hear how the foreman of this place would laugh if he heard your question.

As others have stated - and they're absolutely right - you need to choose a subject that you are already familiar with - your writing will come off as far more credible and interesting, and you'll save yourself about a 1,000 hours of research. If you still insist on writing a book about farm life in Colorado, you need to move here, and you'll need to live some place other than Denver or Colorado Springs or any other city on the Front Range. On the Western Slope I suggest Colbran, Dove Creek, Paonia, Mancos, Del Norte, South Fork, Olathe, Conejos, Palisade, Bedrock, Paradox, the Disappointment Valley and the area around Cortez for starters. Familiarize yourself with the Homestead Act, the lack of water here, and the resulting frenzy of dam building by the Corp of Engineers which continues to this very day. Immerse yourself in the works of Wallace Stegner and John Wesley Powell - especially Stegner's Beyond the 100th Meridian and Powell's The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons. These two books are the definitive classics on the American West, and if you don't feel very inspired at the thought of reading them, then write about some other place. Contemporary authors who are well-respected writers about the modern West (along with its farms and ranches) include Thomas McGuane, Rick Bass, Cormac McCarthy, Jim Harrison and Gretel Erlich whose book The Solace of Empty Spaces (set on a ranch in Wyoming) is a contemporary classic.

Best of luck.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,053 posts, read 12,403,387 times
Reputation: 25951
I would suggest Delta.


Delta County, CO - Official Website | Official Website


Delta County, Colorado&mdash;Official Tourism Cabinet


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta,_Colorado
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