My current MS is set in NYC, with a side trip to Alabama, and while I love researching the places/people/accents etc, I'm finding the writing very hard going for two reasons. These are actual places my readers know well, so if I get things wrong, they'll throw my book at the wall. Actually, it won't get that far, because the canny eds/agents won't let it eke through into print!
So I can't step in and let my imagination take over creating the place. But equally, there is much that maps and research don't provide. I'm constantly nagging on the American girls over at RD for all sorts of things -- smells, where the garbage/trash gets put etc. So many details I just take for granted when setting work in Australia or an imaginary place.
I wonder if I am up for this? So far, I don't want to give up. It's just an aggrevation, but the story is still hauling me through those unknown places at an exciting speed. The characters still tugging on my heart to help them through. I guess I'm not the first to battle this problem.