Thursday, September 4, 2014
Strategy # 3 Historic Landmarks
Build Your Story: 8 Strategies for Writing Innovative Setting with Impact
Geography alone does not build up atmosphere and emotional connections in our worlds. Instead we also need to understand landmarks as potential maps and mirrors in order to recognize, choose, and transform their unique characteristics to our story. Our landmarks then become a natural part of our world rather than a stage prop of location.
An historic landmark can be public or private, such as a town cemetery or a century old family plot on an estate. It may be internationally known like a tourist site of the Eiffel Tower, or local as a sculptured statue in a neighborhood park. It can be natural or man-made.
A commemorative landmark can carry a sense of pride by one faction of a population and a long held grief of failure for others. An historic landmark may have been created by whimsy such as oddly shaped trees or odd-shaped dwellings, or a serious preventive measure against loss of life as so many well-known lighthouses have provided.
An historic landmark can be of value to one individual or to a nation or to a continent. The fact that it carries a history makes it personal whether the reaction to it is positive or negative or neutral. Sometimes the landmarks can just be subtle reminders and other times a key influence. They have the ability to influence theme and character, plot threads and setting.
The key is a personal impact that invades, lingers, and reacts.
As you choose or incorporate specific landmarks (fictional or real) for your novel world, especially those that will remain constant through a series, begin asking these questions of each key spot you choose.
1. Is it natural?
2. Is it man-made?
3. What is the history behind it?
4. How might different characters personally react towards it?
5. Is it considered to be holy ground? Why?
6. If so, is it open to everyone to visit or considered forbidden?
Share: Which characteristic makes you curious? Why?
Read deep, marcy