Along with the workshop on “beginnings” I took, which I talked about in my last post, I also went to a workshop that was called “No Place Like Mine”, focusing on the setting of a story.
It was quite an interesting and informative class, where I realised that it really doesn’t matter too much if you haven’t been to the actual place you are writing about. If you do your research accordingly, then you don’t need to get a feel for the place. What’s most important, is how the character feels about the place.
I really found that piece of advice intriguing – since I have never visited the place where my own novel takes place, due to several reasons. Therefore, having done a ton of research before I started writing, I hope I am qualified enough to write about the place!
In the workshop, we also did some writing on our own projects, focusing on a specific place that is important to our novel. In the place I chose from my novel, there was a crime committed prior to the story’s plot, which the main character, Olivia, must eventually return to. It happened in her living room with and by people she loved, so I apologise beforehand if it has a rather dark vibe to it!
Taking a deep breath, she pushed open the door. The hall was dark and she could smell the dust in the air. Olivia thought she could smell the blood again too, but she knew they had cleaned that up. Taking a deep breath, she stepped forward and switched on the light.
The glow of the lamp barely lit up the space, as always, but there was no need to see things more closely. She knew where the dust was and the spiderwebs that caught in her hair as she moved. She knew where the wall had cracks from taking too many punches. She knew it all. All the little things that haunted her in her sleep.
Olivia moved into the living room, sucking in her breath when she saw the blood. She blinked a few times, until it was gone, but she thought she could still see the outlines on the floor and wall opposite her, even though she knew for a fact it was gone.