{discover.play.build.} a new look at place

{Discover.Play.Build} is a challenge to join me in some notebook work. I’ve missed these little posts and hope you have too. My plan is to bring them back every Thursday (and sometimes during other days of the week too). But always on Thursdays. Every Thursday. For awhile. Or until I think it doesn’t matter to anyone (including me).

I’ve been rethinking what it means to write what you know. I’ve been thinking this especially in regards to setting. Part of this is because I’ve been drawn to books lately that make me feel like I’ve visited a place. The Jade Notebook by Laura Resau and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins are two YA books that are especially inspiring to me. I think both of these authors are superb in writing setting details, making the reader feel like she’s visited a new place just by reading the book. I want to write setting like these authors.

It occurred to me that I can write what I know, but set in a place I’ve never visited. There are ways to learn about a new place and to stretch myself as a writer even if I’ve never visited the place. I also realized there are many places I have experienced that are viable options for settings. So I began nudging myself to create one of my favorite kinds of lists,a list of places, but with a twist.

Make a list of places in your notebook. Allow all kinds of places to fill your list — dig beyond your favorite places, beyond the places you love the most, beyond places hat have appeared on your lists before. Allow big, general places a spot on your list, as well as specific places. Don’t chuck an idea simply because you think it’s not worthy. Really push yourself to consider places you normally wouldn’t.

A peek inside my notebook…

A little of my thinking when making this list…

  • Recently I’ve been intrigued by London. I want to learn as much as I can about the city and eventually visit. Someday I’d like to venture to live there for several months. I’m not sure where this feeling came from or even if I will feel this way next year. Regardless, London made the list.
  • Since I added London to th list, I considered some of my favorite cities I have been in: Chicago, Boston, and New Orleans made the list. I added Hawaii too. Who would love staring at photos from paradise?
  • Near the end of the list I considered my jobs…babysitting for a hair dresser, working at a golf course,a nd the clothing department at a book store.
  • There’s specific spaces — art room and stage — and there’s’ general places — backyard and amusement park.
  • I like how the list evolved bit  by bit. The important thing is to push for new ideas when thinking about setting.
It only takes a few minutes to {Discover.Play.Build.} Please join!

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