Writing Exercise: Setting

Ever seen a church at a gas station before? I hadn’t, until we stopped at this beauty on Saturday, somewhere between Charlotte and Durham. I felt I had to record it for posterity. We were very thankful there was actually gas at this station.

The following idea comes from Kevin Duffus, author of Shipwrecks of the Outer Banks and The Last Days of Blackbeard the Pirate. I met Kevin at Broadfoot’s Bookstore in Wendell, NC last Saturday at the NC Experience. In addition to being a writer, Kevin is a videographer. We spoke about being very visual people, and Kevin shared this tip with me:

When writing about a specific place, take a video of it so that you can refer to it later when you sit down to write.

Brilliant! I usually have very specific places in mind when I write, and though I do visit these places during my writing process, video had never occurred to me. I love the idea of being able to access the sounds and movement of a place as well as the sights. Photographs would also be helpful, like the one above. I can only imagine what sorts of prayers are lifted in this chapel. There’s a story-starter for you.

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