|Image: courtesy of wertandart.wordpress.com|
Research reveals it's good writing that places readers into stories but it's when writers use their own life experiences to describe their fictional worlds that readers can immerse themselves in the plots and care for what happens to the characters.
Life experiences--events like the birth of a child or scoring your team's winning goal in the Grand Final or hiding in the forest as enemy soldiers advance, and the emotions that come with them, the awe, joy and fear--add an extra level of depth to the writer's vision that allows readers to get involved in the story. The reader experiencing the story for themselves is what makes a book unforgettable.
What if I want to write a story set in the wilds of the jungle in Brazil about an archaeologist searching for a lost city, or one set in Regency England where a Duke must find himself a wife or risk losing his inheritance? I'm not an archaeologist. I'm not acquainted with a Duke. I've never visited Brazil or travelled back in time. How do I write the stories I want to write?
|Image: courtesy of: nicolaskey.net|
Via travel I exposed myself to places previously unfamiliar. Immersed in other cultures, I saw the different landscapes, heard how the locals spoke. I stepped outside my comfort zone and tasted food I'd never known about. I pushed aside my fear of dark, enclosed spaces and explored ancient catacombs, feeling the uneven ground beneath my feet and smelling the musty air.
Travel can be easy or it can just as easily be stressful. I drive slowly through the English countryside enjoying the scenery. Great. I arrive in a country where the locals speak a language I don't understand and I don't know my way around. A challenging time, perhaps fearful. However the travel turns out, in the end I have life experiences. Details invaluable to me as a writer that give me a new perspective, details that when included in my stories lets me live them and, in turn, lets readers live them too.
Have you travelled? Has travel inspired your writing?
Love to love - Filling my gaze with beautiful sights.
Love to laugh - at my ungrammatical attempts at speaking another language!
Love to learn - working out things for myself gives me added confidence.