OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Big news! I'm moving back to England from Australia and in this video I talk about what ‘home' means for us as writers.
In the video I explain:
I left London in 2000 and am returning in June 2011 having spent seven years in New Zealand and four in Australia. I won't say the move is forever but I'm looking forward to going home!
When I was writing Pentecost, I set my protagonist Morgan’s home in Oxford, England which to me is my spiritual home. My Dad lives near there and I went to University there. If you ask me where is home – Oxford is it for me.
It also stems from Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure – excellent classic but in it, Jude sees Oxford from afar and calls it a new Jerusalem. That image has stuck with me for nearly 20 years because Jerusalem is the other place in the world I am so ‘romantically' involved with. I’ve been ten times over the years and I love it. As someone who is deeply fascinated by religion, it’s just an amazing place.
So home is an inspiration for us as writers – aspects of our home pop up in our writing. We all know the physical landscape of home so we can weave in the little details that make our writing real. It grounds our work in specifics which makes for better writing.
We also bring the feeling of home to our writing – whether it’s a sci-fi adventure or thriller or romance, the emotional pull of home runs deep. Home can also mean people, coming home to our partner or children and those emotions can give our writing real strength.