We go places both physical and psychological. And we take readers along for the ride! Readers depend on authors to transport them to foreign countries, fictional towns, other worlds, back in time or into the future, and even just down the street. So we need to create settings that are as real as possible.
For my IWSG post this month, I challenge writers to go to these ten places, or as many as possible:
- Visit another country
- Take a trip to a different state/climate
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen or other opportunity
- Offer to speak at a school
- Spend the night in a strange place out of your comfort zone ==> if you live in the city, go to the country and vice versa. Never been camping? Try it.
- Try a new mode of transportation
- Explore an antique store, or grandma's attic
- Dare to try something exciting that you wouldn't normally do--skydiving, spelunking, scuba diving
- You can go online to experience some of the above when travel isn't feasible and immerse yourself in facts and photos
- Put yourself in someone else's shoes! This is the best thing to do when writing a character, but also in life.
The challenge is to broaden your perspective. The more knowledge you gain, the richer the experience, the deeper your characters, and the better your story will be. Have you already crossed a few of these off? I'd love to hear about it!
I also have a very well-traveled friend for my SHOUT OUT OF THE WEEK...
Rhonda lives in New Zealand, and I hope to visit her some day. She and her family recently returned home after a 51 day adventure to visit relatives in the US, and then sailed back from LA to Auckland. After spending about a month at home, they leave for 9 weeks to South America. And she documents her journeys with amazing photographs and stories. You really need to check them out! She's truly an inspiration for going out to see the world.
More about Rhonda--
Expat Rhonda Albom takes you on a vicarious adventure as she captures the essence of travel through photography, stories, tips, and humour. Along with her husband and her two teenage daughters, they have collectively visited 54 countries on six continents.
Rhonda is the owner, primary author, and chief travel photographer at the award-winning expat/travel blog AlbomAdventures.com. Her background includes the journalism school at the University of Missouri, a BS from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago. Rhonda homeschooled her girls, is a crew member of a women’s yacht racing team, and she leads a Girl Guiding Pippins group (ages 5-6). Rhonda is currently editing her first creative non-fiction book, due out in 2018.
So, where would you suggest a writer go? And do you know Rhonda? You should!