Write Anywhere #40
by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador
How are you doing on your writing goals? Have you been able to set aside time to write? Have you been able to set aside time to let your brain breathe? Is the hammer of daily life getting in the way? You need time to write, but you also need time to brew.
Just like a good cup of coffee needs time to percolate before it becomes that smooth liquid shot of adrenaline you love, your brain needs down time before lovely words and ideas flow. Something that doesn’t have anything to do with the matter at hand, even good hard physical labor where the brain doesn’t have to think much.
It’s then that an idea, a phrase, an imaginative spark will come floating to the surface. This week I found myself in another time and another place that had nothing at all to do with writing. But a few notes scribbled about it led me down paths to help my writing.
Write Anywhere #40: Renaissance Faire
Artist Daughter and I went to the annual Renaissance Faire held at The Castle of Muskogee in Muskogee, Oklahoma. (That’s the same Muskogee Merle Haggard sang about for you old-timers). This was our first time, and even though it is a 17-year old tradition, we didn’t hold out hope that it was much more than a bunch of people who like to dress up in historical costumes in a cheesy fake castle. We were pleasantly surprised.
The town of Castleton was really like a Medieval village, with shops, dusty dirt streets and even a jousting arena. But the thing that really brought the town alive were its inhabitants.
The ‘citizens’ of Castleton were completely committed to keeping their characters as real and detailed as possible, from their costumes to their speech patterns to their cultural customs. Monks, pirates, knights and belly dancers. Troubadours, blacksmiths, washer-women and wenches.
We watched a wonderful and baudy 15-minute performance of Hamlet starring four actors playing all the characters. Hilarious! We also listened to the haunting sound of the carillon as played by Cast In Bronze. It was quite amazing, like a piano of bells.
During a break eating falafel above the Jerusalem Cafe, I took a few notes about the importance of characters’ details: everything from their historical surroundings to cultural attitudes to what they might wear in their hair to how they would smell.
I would encourage you to try to find a historical re-enactment group or event in your area, whether its a RenFaire or a Chautauqua or a Civil War encampment and experience the attention to detail. It will help you think about the details in your stories. Even if you write contemporary fiction, its important to be true to the times your characters live.
Where did you write this week?