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  • Writing About Place

    When I read, I often read for fun. Sometimes, though, you get inspired by what you’re reading. I’m reading the Divergent series, and because of this, I am inspired to write about my city, Chicago, more. It is hugely prominent in the novels, and it makes me want to use it to my benefit. How do you you write about a city you live in, though, if you know it well?

    • Write about the places you don’t know. Take a journal to somewhere within your place that you aren’t yet familiar. Take notes, talk to people there, and use all of your senses in the place to describe it.
    • Listen to vernacular. How are people talking? What makes it different than how you speak? What makes it similar? Listen to voices and see how you can use them.
    • Steal. Take people’s actual dialogue, and then see how you can use it for your characters. Is there a line that you like? Is there something you like in particular that a certain person says?
    • Look at body movement. How do people use the spaces? What are they doing? How do they move?
    • Soak in the place. Sit for half an hour and just observe. Try not to think. Then, see how what you observed inspired you. Free write some.

    These are just some ideas for how to use space and place, taken from an inspiration I got when reading. How are you inspired when you read? How do you use space?

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