When writing about a place or scene in a book, it works better for me if I have seen the place and it is even better if I have walked inside of the place. Places and locations have vibrations or what we call vibes, just as people have auras.
If a place has a good vibe, it will be positively remembered. A host of adjectives can be used to describe it such as inviting, bustling, busy, active, lively which all give the impression that the place is well-liked by many others who regularly frequent it.
And then there are places that are not well-attended by others because they give off a negative vibe, so to speak. It may be described as austere, cold, unwelcoming or sterile. People do not feel comfortable at that location and they probably will not return.
Places in book scenes should be described to the extent that others can see, feel and touch it as they read. Most writers use favorable places that have left a good feeling. That place should be revisited, if the place still exists.
Sometimes, due the ever-changing world, memorable places are no longer there. I used a footbridge in my first novella, A Golden Leaf in Time Revised. I had used it for years, but it is no longer there. It sat at 57th Street, which took pedestrians across Lake Shore Drive to the beach.
But my experiences on the bridge remain, so I kept it in the revision of the book. It was always fun to cross because I knew that I was almost there. There meant at the beach, which was the goal.
In spite of the fact that the footbridge no longer exists, I hopefully painted a clear picture of it in the following scene. It was very important to the meeting of two characters.
Phoenix is in a good mood as she is walking across the bridge. She does realize that she is being observed.
Phoenix found parking on Fifty-Sixth Street. She felt fortunate because
parking was difficult to find in the Hyde Park area. She bundled up, zipped
up her jacket, and reached in the back of the seat for her gold scarf. “Lucky
me,” she said, “I match today.” She closed the car door, crossed the street
silently, and started up the stairs to the pedestrian overpass as she chanted
the Prayer of Protection. Once on the walkway, she pranced. “I go to meet
my good.” She descended the stairs dramatically with the grace of a swan,
not realizing that she was being observed.
Tyre looked at her and said, “Hmm. Gold. True gold on gold.”
For those who used that footbridge that crossed over to Lake Michigan, I would say, “Happy Memories!” For the others, I would say, imagine walking with Phoenix as she walked across that bridge to meet her good!
June 25, 2015