From one place to another

Writing about landscapes… how they change, what’s different about them, what’s the same about them, how they connect and morph from one to the other. What lives there, how does life survive, how much imagery is needed to reveal the place, what details create a vista for the reader… there are a few considerations. There’s so much to consider when writing about places yet now that I’m getting into it there seems to be so few words to describe these same, but different elements. Traversing different landscapes with a feel for how they connect to one another takes a lot of focus. It’s left me contemplating what makes a place.

Chapter four takes my protagonist through a changing landscape into a harsh one and then onto a new land that is unknown. These places serve a purpose symbolically relating to the folklore tale as well as being the places where the story happens. In writing about them I want to capture what each place means as well as what each place is, which is tricky at times. The challenge is to not overwrite things for the sake of writing in what I want to convey thematically along with what is happening. As a solution I’ll write less and let some of the underlying points of story that I hoped to touch on slip by lightly with little emphasis on them. Making a point of every little thing will come across as heavy-handed if the reasoning is not clear to the reader; it may even come across as just plain confusing.

To move forward I’ll tread lightly through the story that underlies and place attention on what’s happening. I want the focus on actions to lead the reader through the story with the subtext providing a subtle richness that isn’t essential to understand the journey of the protagonist. Much like life really, we comprehend so much without ever fully understanding everything.

Another 1000 words have gotten me to this point in chapter four but at 1500 words in total this chapter I still have a way to go before I’m into the rhythm of it. Making the decision to let the storytelling elements that speak to the subconscious fall into the background where they belong has been an aha moment for me. I don’t have to craft things to the point where they are forced, I can let the words and action within the narrative have some breathing space. With this thought in mind writing many places has felt easier. It’s as if by giving myself space to work within, without so many elements intentionally worked in, I’ve also created space to stop and look around at the places that I’m creating in the story.

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