As anxious as I get when not actually writing fiction, I admit I’ve enjoyed the experience of taking time out to reflect on the process, scrutinizing my own and other writers’ work in order to articulate why setting matters, and how to create a strong sense of place. As I figured out what to teach, I have inevitably learned a great deal, too.
As I wrote in the blurb for the Writers Victoria website, a strong sense of place helps transport readers into the world created by a novel. Without it, readers can feel lost, frustrated, and the pleasure of reading is diminished.
But description for its own sake tends to fall flat and risks becoming what Elmore Leonard referred to as ‘the part readers tend to skip’.
In my workshop, I’ll be looking at how to bring a place to life and create an evocative sense of place without sacrificing plot or pace.
I’ll also be dealing with the nitty gritty of powerful writing, tips that I hope will be of use to participants whatever they are writing.
For more information on the workshops, or to book for the morning session (afternoon session is sold out), click here.
I’ll be using a selection of excerpts from literary and genre fiction, including crime fiction, to illustrate various points in the workshop. But I’d like to leave participants with further reading: a list of writers who do a great job of evoking setting, or specific works (short fiction or novels) with a a strong sense of place.
What would you put on that list?