Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Taking myself to places

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?

I believe in the old adage, home is where the heart is. Slightly improvising on it, I would say where my thoughts take me. In my writings, which consists mostly of poetry, I don't write about specific locations. Those are more generic and anyone can feel at home reading my poetry. However, if I write poetry of a personal nature I can recall the exact place. I might not write about it but I feel nostalgic about it. Mind can travel to any place it wishes to so does our writings. Places do influence our way of thinking, our attitudes and give us a sense of belonging. How well we get that across in our writings is very important. For me place and time are interconneted in some instances.

If I set aside poetry, I think in a story or a novel, place is very important. Otherwise, it can go all awry. Sometimes geography defines how a particular story should move. Many a times the cultural ethos and historical background play a part. I prefer to read books with strong historical facts. Along with genetics, we are all defined by our roots where environment also plays a fairly big part. One can say that one can't write anything if one does not consider that. For me, a imaginary place too is important, be it in the fantasy land of the mind. Doesn't fantasy land become a real a place we all visit and take a hiatus, at one point or the other, in our lifetimes? Who can blame us for that as we need to do that to keep the inner child within us alive?

My question is, do you agree or not? Why or why not?


  1. Hi,
    I am new to Write On Wednesdays, and Im looking forward to reading and sharing more.
    Like you, place for me has been become central to my writing whether it's mentioned or not. Since my writing is largely reflections written in prose, it's not a abstract as poetry. Your comment is very interesting,

  2. Lovely post! I believe we tend to internalise physical geography, transform it into a landscape that is ours (maybe imbued with our spirit or need for spirit) and then we write!

  3. I do both!
    I agree and disagree....

    Oh bugga ya asked why?

    Oh well ok........

    Each of us is individual, each of us has our own standards, morals and beliefs. Each of us fights these things sometimes because we see outside of our own little part of the world. we dream of something better. We want to be better, we want more of the things we perceive to be better. sometimes they are sometimes they are not ....... When ya hold out ya hand and someone takes it you then have to decide whether ya want to take it and run or let go and stay ....
    Whatever we do we are all have to be accountable.

    In my case I tell people what I think in comments I make on blogs like yours. Sometimes they are misunderstood sometimes they are actually fully known. It is all in how you look at it how each individual reads what has been said and each of us will have differring viewpoints. Doesnt make us right, nor does it make us wrong, it makes us who we are. Accepting that is the hardest thing ta do .... so I agree with you, but I also disagree cos that it who I am and believe it or not...everyone else.........

  4. You raise some very interesting points about place in writing. I do think our fantasy places can become very important in real life, as well as in the places we re-create in our writing lives. I'll be thinking more about that today ...thanks :)

  5. I write about place sometimes in my writing because I think it draws the reader to a place they may have not been. And, sometimes I don't write about a place because I may think its not relevant. When you speak of a fantasy place I think that can be important because it allows the reader to go somewhere and forget his/ her troubles even if for a short while. Nice job. Have a nice day.

  6. To me, place is in my imagination, which is a rich tapestry of personal, social, historical and cultural input. I try not to place my stories in 'place', as one thing I've noticed about the great writers who survive is that their stories can apply any time, anywhere.

  7. Place and characters are the things that almost always stand out the most for me, when I read. I'm not sure I'm very good at evoking place however. It's something I need to work on.

  8. Good Morning! I agree that, at times, PLACE is very important, to lend believability to a novel. If one is going to write about the Regency period, for example, one had better have done her research, or the finished work will not be authentic or believable.

    Also PLACE can definitely help set the mood of one's writing.

    Thanks for your interactive post. :)

  9. I need to be rooted physically--my writing which is very very important to me becomes impaired if not

    If I read my writings I can recall where I was, what I was doing that day and more

  10. I really like how you do these. You really put us into your writing.

  11. Great analogy.

    In our modern impatient instant-gratificational world we feel pressured to generalise geographic settings with cliches in order to be with it.

    Thanbks to TV and Film literary settings can be used to create recognisable images within milliseconds...BAM!

    It would be far more interesting to conjure your own imaginary destinations if you can manage to block out all of the preconceived files mercilessly stored in your memory...

    I can't.

  12. I totally agree with you. For me places are equally important for any for of art.
    A Romanian poet said once that your language is the your residing place. How right was he. I also believe that there is spiritual place, the realm of the culture, the society, the beliefs of the place we grew up in – a spiritual place that defines all other places: the ones you dream about, the ones you create as fantasy land.
    In novels I do appreciate accuracy. I resent novelists that write about places they do not know and do not research enough.

  13. Nice take on place...I generally don't think much about it - at least on a general day. When writing a novel, however, I use place in the most literal sense. Good post, here!

  14. Good post, I think place is so important in all writing. If a novelist can't capture place well then I am less convinced by the novel.

  15. Place is very important to my writing, whether poetry or personal essay or even my attempts at fiction... I can see how it plays a more important role in novels than in poetry.

  16. my hay[na]ku are from a place
    within the mind, rather than
    the physcial space I inhabit.