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Old 03-13-2009, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Dunwoody)
2,047 posts, read 3,873,868 times
Reputation: 957

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I'm writing a book that's set in the LA area. My character is a television writer and she's dating an actor. Neither of them are particularly big yet, they make a good living, but certainly aren't wealthy enough to own the type homes you normally see in magazines or on celebrity sites, so I'm at something of a quandary. I need to know how just regular people in LA live.

What type price range would they be paying for an apartment? I'm really trying to get a feel for what neighborhoods they'd live in. How much of a commute they'd have in to work at a t.v. studio? I've gotten the impression that most of the studios are in a specific area, what would that be called, what streets are near there. Restaurants? That type of thing. Would they be able to live near the studio where they worked? I've been to the area a couple of times, but this type information is hard to research without hanging out there for a while. Also one of the minor characters owns a fitness center, a pretty upscale one. Are there specific areas of town where such a place would most likely be?

Any help you could give me would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 03-13-2009 at 03:22 PM.. Reason: No manual signatures allowed
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,370 posts, read 25,567,363 times
Reputation: 19641
Many of the writers that I know and know of live in Oxnard. Rents for someone starting out would be in the $1,350 range for a 2 bedroom appartment or $1,000 range for a one bedroom. The commute would be in the hour range to get to Burbank. Saying that I am sure you will find that writers, consultants, actors, live everywhere in the area. some of my friends work in the medical field and also act part time. They have the ability to work a schedule that will allow them to take the time needed to work on the dream. One girl from here is a writer that was a consultant for the George Lopes show. That was kind of cool. Another friend works in our radiology department and is able to take the time needed to do bit parts in shows and movies. From time to time I will see him on the TV and get a kick out of that. Chances are many of these people will never make it big, but they are still participating in making their dreams happen in a smaller way. Whio knows they could even make it big someday.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:11 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,744,640 times
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People in the industry live all over the area. You might be well served by deciding what your characters want out of a neighborhood and go from there. Are they trying to live a certain lifestyle? Do they like where they live, or do they want to live somewhere else? They would have a lot of options. They could live in a loft with a view in Hollywood, or in a small house with a garden in Pasadena, or in a condo in Santa Monica, or in an apartment, or near the studios in Burbank, or in Studio City, or... In other words, lots of options, so maybe it would easier to think about how their choice of neighborhoods illustrate their personalities and aspirations and go from there.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Dunwoody)
2,047 posts, read 3,873,868 times
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My characters are definitely bohemian/urban pioneer types. I was looking at some of the photos from the Echo Park thread and some of those buildings are exactly what I had in mind. I like the grittiness of it. One of my characters would own and live in the building and the others would rent flats from her. From what I'm understanding Echo Park is in East LA, how reasonable would the commute be to Studio City/Burbank? Are there other similar up and coming neighborhoods that would make more sense? I like the gentrified aspects of that neighborhood, but apparently it's not quite there yet.
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:54 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,744,640 times
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Echo Park isn't in East LA. It's east (ish) LA in geography, but East LA is its own very distinct area. I think Echo Park sounds like a great match for "bohemian/urban pioneer," though. I don't know about commute time, but it wouldn't be too bad to Burbank. You could also consider Eagle Rock or Silverlake.

There's a new book you might find helpful to look at called Faces of Sunset Boulevard; it features photos of people plus short interviews, all from the neighborhoods along Sunset Boulevard. Echo Park is in there, as are many other neighborhoods that would be of interest. It will really give you a good flavor of the diversity of the city, as well as some of the specific locations. It's a beautiful book, and would be worth every penny for anyone trying to learn more about LA.

Amazon.com: Faces of Sunset Boulevard: A Portrait of Los Angeles: Patrick Ecclesine: Books
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:09 PM
 
Location: CITY OF ANGELS AND CONSTANT DANGER
5,409 posts, read 11,066,563 times
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ECHO PARK IS NOT IN EAST LA.

see thats the problem with some writers, the fiction the create is not even organic.

if you need help creating a story, maybe you should consider writing about something you know about.

i understand its fiction, but fiction is often times based in reality. whats your reality? where do you live? what have you lived. what story can you create on your own that is interesting enough to captivate a reader?

otherwise it sometimes feels a bit too fabricated. inauthentic.

good luck tho.

sorry i cant help you with this. only this i can say is that Echo park is not ELA.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,370 posts, read 25,567,363 times
Reputation: 19641
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoslynHolcomb View Post
My characters are definitely bohemian/urban pioneer types. I was looking at some of the photos from the Echo Park thread and some of those buildings are exactly what I had in mind. I like the grittiness of it. One of my characters would own and live in the building and the others would rent flats from her. From what I'm understanding Echo Park is in East LA, how reasonable would the commute be to Studio City/Burbank? Are there other similar up and coming neighborhoods that would make more sense? I like the gentrified aspects of that neighborhood, but apparently it's not quite there yet.
That sounds surprisingly like a TV show that used to be filmed here in the area. Instead of calling it "Melrose place" you could call it "Echo Park Place".

And they said that their are only five or six story lines to work with. Doesn't anyone have anything original these days?
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:35 AM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,584 posts, read 32,635,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the one View Post

if you need help creating a story, maybe you should consider writing about something you know about.
Nonsense. Tom Clancy was an insurance agent with no military experience whatsoever, and look at what he was able to do with submarine warfare.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Dunwoody)
2,047 posts, read 3,873,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
That sounds surprisingly like a TV show that used to be filmed here in the area. Instead of calling it "Melrose place" you could call it "Echo Park Place".

And they said that their are only five or six story lines to work with. Doesn't anyone have anything original these days?
I don't think my story is anything like Melrose Place, but considering I never actually saw the show, I can't be absolutely sure.

Quote:
if you need help creating a story, maybe you should consider writing about something you know about.
I don't need help creating a story. The story is more or less written. I need help with figuring out the neighborhoods in LA, which is, in fact, only a tiny percentage of my story. Perhaps if I were writing a book about LA your point might be valid...or not. But since I'm writing a book about people who just happen to live in LA, it's not. Thanks for listening.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Northern Arizona
1,248 posts, read 2,999,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fontucky View Post
Nonsense. Tom Clancy was an insurance agent with no military experience whatsoever, and look at what he was able to do with submarine warfare.
Ditto Robert Crais with the LAPD. Guy was never a cop (he was a screenwriter on shows like Cagney & Lacey, Miami Vice, etc) but conversely, he spent a lot of time researching the LAPD and at least made it look like he knew what he was talking about when writing about the various units within the police department.
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