Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Write on Wednesday ... The Power of Place.

This week Bec asks about 'The Power of Place.'

How about you? How does place figure in your writing? Do you feel comfortable in the place you live, or do you feel at odds with your atmosphere? Do you convey that in your writing? What stories does your location have to tell?

For me, in writing, place is integral. If I there's no place then nothing happens. Place names make writing feasable, interesting, not only the name but the history, traditions and time frame in relation to the place you're writing about can take your reader there, either in their imagination or back to a place where they once might have been.

Judith Barrington in "Writing the Memoir" writes "how the names of people, places, stores, rivers, and so on are a particular kind of concrete detail that can play a vital role in making your writing interestring and believable and quotes from James Hamilton Patterson's "The Great Deep : The Sea and Its Thresholds", where there is a chapter entitled "Nothing is More Tedious than a Landscape without Names."

I'm comfortable in the place I live, I have to be, what's the point in angsting about being in a lavish environment with panoramic ocean views, the smell of the salt air wafting in and sending metal window frames rusty? Why waste precious time and energy on what, right now, isn't possible ... but that's me, ever practical.

Current place likes and dislikes aren't conveyed in my writing yet, one day, when I relate this episode place will emerge. People, mood, atmosphere, emotions, era, conditions, as well as the mores, values and traditions relating to place are inevitably conveyed when writing of the past. Research and memory prod thoughts. A found a bus timetable will jolt me back to school days. Reminding me of the fun, frolic and mischief of riding to and from school, of the days when we didn't make it ... wagged it, played hookey, jigged it ... ahhh those were the days!

Location is the basis for my stories ... if I or my ancestors hadn't been in that place who knows what might never have happened!

What about the times when you feel you've been in that place before? ... that's another story ...


BK said...

I totally agree with you about the power of place. I have been thinking and writing a lot about it too and somehow it finds its way into my work.
Looking forward to sharing more with you,

gautami tripathy said...


For me place translates into nostalgia...

Taking myself to places

Becca said...

I'd love to hear more about those places you feel like you've been before!

I always love your positive, energetic take on the prompt!

bella rum said...

I agree about the importance of place and all that it evokes. It puts us in the shoes of the character, giving us insight.

Crafty Green Poet said...

place is integral to my writing too,

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