So far, all three of the manuscripts I've completed (I'm counting the current one, Floater, which is in revision status), have been set mostly in San Diego. I lived there for two years in the early 90s, and it's still one of my favorite cities. I enjoy writing about, and researching, the area.
Two books I started before Floater–but never finished–were set in northern Virginia (where I was living at the time). For some reason, I just couldn't get those stories off the ground. I wrote about 100 pages for each and didn't know what to do next.
I'm sure it's a coincidence that the two stories set in VA didn't work out. I'd like to think I could write a book set anywhere in the world. But, I have to admit, when I went back to the drawing board to start on Floater, I was back to San Diego again.
This time, I worked through the GMC, and made sure I had at least some idea of the major scenes and how the book would end. Even though I'm more of a pantser, I need some structure to hang the scenes on. I need the approximate destination, even if I don't know the route. My confidence has grown, and my understanding of what I have to do before I start writing has improved.
My brain is already fizzing with ideas for my next book, and it's set in Virginia again. Maybe.
I'm hoping the third time's a charm.