Places authors write about what they know

Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up; D. Lawrence under a tree.

Places authors write about what they know

Some prefer minimal settings, locating a scene wherever serves the story best and allowing the reader to imagine the details. Some luxuriate in their settings, imagining fascinating vistas, halls, and even worlds at which they hope their readers will marvel.

The Importance of Place: Where Writers Write and Why | Poets & Writers Before you write a good plot, you need a good place to write. Personally, I write my best stuff lounging in bed, clad in sweatpants, with my favorite Spotify playlist crooning through my laptop speakers.
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Others fall between the two points, or prefer to be vague except for locations that they feel define the story. Her familiarity with the intricacies of these locations gives her absolute confidence as she describes them, and equips her with minor details that it would be hard to make up: The abrupt descent of Penistone Crags particularly attracted her notice; especially when the setting sun shone on it and the topmost heights, and the whole extent of landscape besides lay in shadow… You could not climb them, they are too high and steep.

In winter the frost is always there before it comes to us; and deep into summer I have found snow under that black hollow on the north-east side! Gimmerton chapel bells were still ringing; and the full, mellow flow of the beck in the valley came soothingly on the ear.

It was a sweet substitute for the yet absent murmur of the summer foliage, which drowned that music about the Grange when the trees were in leaf. At Wuthering Heights it always sounded on quiet days following a great thaw or a season of steady rain.

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While imagination is infinite, the idea of a setting which changes with the weather in the ways described above is something which springs readily from real experience but would never occur to someone inventing a location from scratch. The reader believes that the speaker found snow in the summer, and so subconsciously accepts that they have had a life outside of the story.

This is the power that a writer can wring from a familiar setting, imbuing every aspect of their story with stolen authenticity. This has the same effect as when authors include their own hobbies or experiences in a story, in that it comes with a blindness as to what the reader will already know, or even find interesting.

While Garner generally uses this real setting to great effect — chase scenes are gripping because the distance to safety is so vividly captured — his own experiences of the area sometimes takes over the narrative: By Seven Firs and Goldenstone they went, to Stormy Point and Saddlebole… Nell Beck swore she saw them once, but she was said to be mad, and when she died they buried her under a hollow bank near Brindlow Wood in the field that bears her name to this day.

Likewise, the locations named at the beginning of the passage are real, and yet without drawing on their particular features the reader encounters them in the same way as any other fantasy location.

In passages such as these Garner falls into the trap of his own love — while the passages will thrill Cheshire locals, the pre-existing knowledge to which Garner appeals is only present in a small fraction of his readership.

While Garner stops here, missing some opportunities but doing no significant harm, this blindness can have a devastating effect on a story. No author can fully appreciate their blind spots, and using a familiar location gives them a lot more opportunities to lose their way. Terry Pratchett is another example of creating a realistic fiction from a real place.

Lancre is itself based on the county of Lancashire once again in England. Pratchett borrows not just the scenery of Lancashire, but also its mythology and culture.

places authors write about what they know

Using Lancashire as inspiration, Pratchett has woven such a fully realized fictional setting that fans can buy A Tourist Guide to Lancrecomplete with a detailed map of the area. Magic glues the Discworld together and a lot of it ends up in Lancre, principal Kingdom of the Ramtop Mountains… The Ramtops supply Discworld with most of its witches and wizards.

The leaves on the trees in the Ramtops move even when there is no breeze. Rocks go for a stroll in the evening. Even the land, at times, seems alive. The mapp may only be two-dimensional, but watch it very carefully and you might see it jostle about a bit.Should Authors Use Familiar Places As Story Settings?

July 20, by Robert Wood 2 Comments. Image and even conscientious authors can miss what makes an area feel real and interesting if they know it too well. Many authors end up communicating, rather than evoking, feelings about an area – the reader will perceive the story’s awe at a.

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For more from WD. To help you figure out where to submit short stories, Shimmer “encourages authors of all backgrounds to write stories that include characters and settings as diverse and wondrous as the people and places of the world we live in.” What do they pay for that?

I know what they pay in the other sections, but Readers Write isn’t. The Daily Routines of 12 Famous Writers. I write a lot of material that I know I’ll throw away. It’s just part of the process.

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They aren’t wondering when they’re going to write and they aren’t battling to “fit it in” amongst their daily activities because they are doing the most important thing first.

3. Embrace the. “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read.

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I know of no shortcuts.” —Larry L. King, WD “Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.” —Allegra Goodman “I’m out there to clean the plate.

Discover historical sites, independent bookstores, literary archives, writing centers, and writers spaces in cities across the country using the Literary Places database—the best starting point for any literary journey, whether it’s for research or inspiration.

places authors write about what they know
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