Jul 28, 2012

The best thing about location

Motivated by some of the posts on the Linkedin about location, I've decided to share my outlook on it, and how it affects my writing.

I use it as a way to clearly describe what I see, to use the best of it, to make the story more convincing. Of course, a convincing dialogue is what makes the story interesting, but sometimes the perfect location is often ignored, and it is a shame considering how much improvement it can bring to the story.
How many times have you walked outside, and I don't mean only some far away places, and find yourself stopped at your tracks, because you felt that the certain building or, indeed, the whole street makes you feel something deep inside of you? A certain emotion or a nudge?

I looooooove writing. It is my life. And so many times I've come to this situation where I've felt it but I couldn't decipher what it means. The nudge and the emotions were there, and I've missed it because it was gone in an instant. And so many times I failed to make the best of it, to even capture the location that could have possibly meant something so meaningful to the story. For that reason I have decided to take my camera everywhere I go. You never know what can motivate you. And sometimes at first you don't feel anything about what you're photographing, but when you come home and you look at the picture everything seems so clear to you! The ideas just come pouring out of your mind.

The good idea that comes to me, in order to work on my description and details, and I will work on it next time, is going to the center of a relatively small, peaceful street, standing somewhere in the middle of it, or somewhere on the side, and taking picture of it. And then, taking time, going door to door and describing what it looks like, and who might be behind it.

And now a question for you. How do you use the location to your favor?


  1. I am with you on this 100%. You are so right! Location puts us into the story like no other means. Tapping into all of the senses is important, but if I don't feel like I know where I am, then I am lost.

    A great example that I found was in Cormac McCarthy's The Road. In this post-apocalyptic story we don't know exactly what has happened or why and we never get to know much about the backgrounds of the characters, but throughout the story I could picture the journey and get a sense of being in the story. McCarthy actually nailed location so well that in the opening I knew exactly where geographically the story started without the author telling us. From the start I was invested in the story because of his skillful use of location.

    Wrote By Rote

  2. I didn't read that book but it sounds interesting. Sometimes, location can really make or break the plot, and it's always nice to read those who've made it.