Writing Prompt: A Sense of Place

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Often, our favorite characters are tied to, or directly linked to, a place. Certain genres are rather dependent upon the establishment of a setting. Some narratives will not work unless it is set within a certain space. The story cannot take place just anywhere.

This has been true for William Faulkner and Sherwood Anderson. Each author created entire worlds around one county or town, respectively. In Alice Notley’s The Descent of Alette, the underground is a required place. Integral to the plot, the subterranean is highlighted by Notley and functions as a character unto itself.

In this week’s writing prompt, place takes center stage. To bring forward place in this, and perhaps future writing, make a list of at least 8 place you have lived. For each place identified and written down, associate a noun with it. For example:

1. New York – Jack Kerouac.

Next, provide that place and its associate with a sentence, like so:

1. New York – Jack Kerouac: I arrived in New York with the belief that I missed Jack Kerouac by about five minutes.

These 8 places are just simple lists. They do not have to be elaborate or profound. This can just be a list of settings that come to mind based off of your personal experiences. If you have not lived in many places, then try to note places within your town that trigger a certain resonance to them.

Anyone interested in sharing? Please post your poetic list of place by leaving a comment on this post. We would love to see what everyone comes up with.


5 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: A Sense of Place

  1. Pingback: Limping Devil Press: A Prompt About Places « One Starving Activist

  2. justindielmann

    These years drive slowly forward, but places seem to occupy a particular space of time even when time has moved. The realationship between memory and environment deteriorates objective understanding of this phenomenon. But looking back through these places distorts my sense of where in this instant. Idealists like Kerouac in the prompt always seem to have a tighter hold on time than I can muster, that or they are better at lying to themselves.

    Hebronvile, TX- truck: I slept outside three nights on the border without locks.

    Houston, TX- madness: my mind was sliping into then suburban colds.

    Kennedy TX- drunk: roughnecks and bar fights echo a different life.

    Chicago, IL- chicken: sitting Indian style on the floor we watched it cook.

    Seattle, WA- rooftops: they over look the world.

    Whitney Island, WA- cameras: she caught my raccoon eyes reflected in water.

    Nashville, TN- boots: I was the only one without a pair.

    Rapid City, SD- sober: it’s been too long to see that day.


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