I Went Outside
The original goal of this post was to discuss my time out in nature, because, let’s face it, this pasty gal doesn’t go out in the sun very often. However, the more I recount that time out in nature, in a new place, I recall how much more productive I was with my writing. I was surrounded by the buzzing of life, the shock of green in an untouched forest, and the damp, heat of the Alabama weather. As a result, I found that my writing was matching my surroundings. It was intense, fresh, and new. While I still will be discussing my time out in nature, I want to focus on how a change of scenery can help your writing.
Your Descriptions of Scenes
When changing your own scenery, you will more than likely find yourself taking in the smaller details, things your brain would gloss over in your usual setting. When I was experiencing this, I found that my landscapes and setting descriptions were much more dense. I took the time to point out those small, identifying details that I otherwise might not have included. While you, of course, want to let your reader use your imagination, taking note of the finer details can help shape and ground your work in reality.
The Way You Describe Emotions
I find that my emotions change pretty rapidly when changing my location. I typically write in a dark corner of my office, a cozy reading nook I setup the moment I moved in. It’s comfortable; I am comfortable and content. Consequently, I find my description of emotions is pretty lackluster when writing in that corner. I find it difficult to dig deeper and express anything other than surface-level contentment when I myself am content.
When changing locations, I tend to have a bit more anxiety being in a new place. I find that I may not be as comfortable, or perhaps I am even more comfortable than in my reading nook. This adds depth to my descriptions. Above all, my characters tend to be much more realistic in how they approach various situations, and that, in turn, makes them seem more realistic.
Your Description of Movement and Expression
Like I said before, I typically write alone in my reading nook. When writing in complete solitude, I find that I typically use the same motions for every character. My character is angry, so they pinch the bridge of their nose… and so does every other angry or frustrated character. While repetition can be a great way to add emphasis to something, repetition can also just be boring and redundant.
Thus, changing my scenery, heading out into the world, and writing in coffee shops can really help diversify your description of movement and action. People-watching is one of my favorite activities, and if you happen to enjoy that, too, this is a great chance to do that and get new material for your movement descriptions. Watching a wide range of people will help develop your characters as individuals, as well as show you how those different individuals interact with the world around them.
Sound and How We React to It
Once more, if you are like me, you probably write alone and in silence. As a result, you probably also don’t take much time to describe sounds in your work. Hearing is a powerful sense, one that when used can provide depth and color to your work. Therefore, going out in the world and exposing yourself to new or at the very least differing sounds, can help inspire sounds in your work.
How does the sound of clanging metal make you feel? What conversations have you heard? Did it sound like a conversation between friends? How did the person sound as they spoke? All of the answers to these questions can help develop your character, their relationships, and the world around them. Sound is too powerful not to utilize in your writing.
Changing your scenery is beneficial for you as well as your writing. Where have you gone recently that has inspired your work? It can be anything as simple as your front yard to as grand as another country. Let me know, and comment below. Thank you so much for reading.