write on wednesday … on the first weds in Sept
September 3, 2008 § 6 Comments
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?
Oh, boy, Becca opens a Pandora’s box with this one…but I will endeavor to be brief.
Generally: It’s quite complicated, I think. But if I’m sitting in a good place, I can better get to the place I want to write, and then “place” is always, always, a very important part of the writing. I totally blank out on my immediate surroundings as I go to the place I’m writing about.
I’m a camera.
The page is my film.
I am a sincere believer in “setting.” Even if it’s via one line. One good strong simple line.
Writing in the Midwest: If you had asked, I would never ever have guessed I’d be a writer in the middle of the country. Everyone knows it works well in Iowa. But, Missouri? And yet it is working out fine, but keep the following in mind (and no, they are not complaints, but hey, I’m an urban Pisces who adores a skyline with an ocean view):
Here there are no mountains. (like the Adirondacks where I grew up)
There is no ocean view. (like Florida, another place we lived)
There is no pulsing honking uptown downtown 24-hour energy. (like NY or Atlanta or LA)
There are no green rolling hills (like Vermont)
And yet it works. It’s working. (It’s the people and the approachability.)
Nutshell: So, am I at odds with my atmosphere/surroundings? Usually, no. But I tend to step back and observe, rather than to throw myself into the Missouri fray (so to speak). So, maybe that shows in what I write. Or, maybe it’s missing.
Stories my location tells: hmmm…er…well aside from the Twain thing, what stories are told by this location? many…many…many…as there would be in any place, I think. It’s not just a river thing here. Nor is it simply fields of wheat and corn. Or catfish. It’s rich.
Geez, I should get busy telling some tales of “here.”