When penning a story, the setting, or the environment, the action takes place in can set the tone, mood, or even background for the entire story. Any editor will tell you where you put your characters is an important part of the makeup of a good book.
That got me to thinking about the environment in which you actually write the story. Does the space where you create have a positive or negative effect on your writing, how you write, and ultimately, if it all pulls together in the end?
When I first starting writing seriously (read that to mean for publication and money!) I had an old Brother typewriter that sat at my kitchen table in my two room apartment. No spell check, no online thesaurus and certainly no delete key. It would take me three or four or more tries to get an article perfect in every sense – no spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes included – before I would mail it to an editor. And by mail I mean walk to the Post Office. Not press a send key. I wrote this way for years.
Fast forward to the birth of my daughter. My husband bought our first computer and monitor with Corel Word 4 attached. At the time, this was Heaven for me. Now I had easy access to delete or correct something within the text. At this point in my life, my writing skyrocketed in volume just because I could type fast and edit as I went along. The computer sat in a spare bedroom we hysterically called, “our office.” The only problem with this setup was that we had one computer and two adults who needed access to it. And again, I wrote this way for a decade plus five years.
Another trip into the time machine and we’re in real time. I have my own laptop (Yea!) and now, I actually have my own space to write, too. Our attic runs the length and width of the house so it’s two complete rooms. One is for storage, the other is for me. I have my own desk – okay it’s my daughter’s old desk, but she’s not living here any more – my own bookshelves that house all my reference books, a couch for stretching out in when my menopausal back and butt get numb from sitting for hours, and even a television if I need to reconnect with the outside world for a few moments. The desk sits in front of a beautiful big window where I’ve been watching the never-ending snow come down recently as I gaze off and think of the right word I want to type. To me, this is writing Nirvana. Private space, no noise and good natural lighting from the skylights in the roof. I now, hysterically, refer to my writing space as my “writer’s loft.” A little pretentious, yes, but hey, it works for me.
Is it any wonder my writing has improved so much lately that I actually have professionals wanting to see it? Hmmm. Makes you think, doesn’t it…