That isn't the only reason I went, though. My current WIP, which I'll be working with an editor with for my mentorship in September, has been giving me trouble. It's existed in varying stages for a year and a half, and I want a draft I'm at least somewhat pleased with for the fall. But I've been having trouble with the plot, and finding the character's voice. A lot of it was inspired by the art tour I did last May, even though I had a draft eve then. A lot has changed with it, and with me, since, so I hoped to get some inspiration from the familiar pieces at MoMA.
The funny thing? My protagonist doesn't like MoMA. At least not now. At least not yet.
Understanding emotion, particularly in art, is part of her growth. I went to remind myself where I want her to be, so I can get her there.
I never thought much about location being integral to a character's journey before I moved to Boston. My soon-to-be-queried WIP was set here even before I'd moved, but once I was here--was able to actually walk the streets and see my characters there--a whole new layer was added to the story. It's almost as much about Harvard Square, in some places, as it is about my MCs. And I didn't plan it that way at all.
A friend and I were talking today about how A Wrinkle in Time wasn't as prominent in Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me at first, and now it's central to the novel. These things happen all the time with novels-in-flux and that's hard to remember when you want a first, second or third draft to be as polished as that read-by-ten-people, shiny manuscript next to it. I find it helps sometimes to look at crappy old drafts of the shiny one to remember it, too, once needed a lot of help.
But right now I need to stop looking back and look forward. To the next step, in art and in this novel.