Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Settings


Photo: Me & hubby in front of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.







I travel a lot. Love it. Approximately forty countries so far and climbing. Travelling makes me feel a part of the world and not just of New Zealand. There's nothing like travelling to stop you whining about your own country. It puts many of your own petty issues into perspective.
It is also a great source of inspiration for storytelling. A story needs a setting and, at least for me, it becomes monotonous to always use your own city or country. For some, this is their comfort zone and their inspiration - to describe their homeland in all its colour and nuances. But I prefer to take my characters out into the world. They usually start off at home in New Zealand then take off for one of the countries I have visited. I seldom use settings I haven't seen with my own eyes but it can happen and then the research is exhausting. Get a detail wrong and someone will know - after all someone lives there. It's a very tough call to describe a city or rural setting if you haven't touched the surfaces, smelled the aromas, heard the sounds of the place.
When I travel, I, of course, take photos to cover the visual aspect, but then also make copious notes of the impressions of the place on the other senses. You think you will remember when you get back home but our visual sense is the strongest and it can dominate and blur the memory of the others. Take notes, keep a diary, record your impressions - whatever works for you - but don't rely on memory. That is my humble advice.

It's a national holiday in New Zealand so I'm off out into a brilliantly sunny day to make the most of this weather.

Suzanne

8 comments:

Bernita said...

Ah, you are so very lucky!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

What a beautiful photo and post! You and your hubby have great adventures, and I hope to read about more of your travels. :D

Suzanne, I have given you a writing award on my blog. If you wish, click to save the award image and then post it on your site. And name five other winners to pass it on. If you don't wish to participate, that is understandable. But you sooo deserve recognition!

This also helps your blog ratings when others post your link. :D

Have a super day!

Hugs, JJ/Nancy

raine said...

Ah, I envy you--both for the travel and the weather!

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Bernita, we all have our lucky days and our not so lucky days but yes, I am lucky to be able to indulge my passion. It is an important focus in my life and so I make it happen, dragging my husband and teenage son behind me. We will be going back to Italy to see the family this year and I'm hoping to get to Russia for a week or so. Fingers crossed.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Nancy, what an honour. Thanks so much. I will drop by after work and pick up my award and can certainly think of at least five others to give it to.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Raine,I squirrel away all year so that I can have the holidays. That means less of other things but that is my choice. My holidays come first after the family is fed and clothed, of course.
As for the weather, I am enjoying it while it lasts. It has indeed been an exceptional summer.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Suzanne, I'm happy you've had an exceptional summer. WOOT!!! I hope we have that kind of spring. Winter has been amazing with the scenery but I'm ready for it to take a hike. :D

Good morning!

Hugs, Nancy

Mary W said...

Janet has shown me how to get your blog so now I'll be able to read it!