Writing on location … in Norway

Location is an essential anchor within any story, and it’s an element I frequently return to when I’m invited to host creative writing workshops at universities and festivals.  Indeed, later this week I’ll be at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, running a ‘Creative Writing Kickstart’ on the theme of location.

An authentic sense of place will serve as a mirror to a characters’ inner emotions, helping to propel the story towards vital actions and dialogue.  Locations, it seems to me, are emotional landscapes – quite apart from positioning characters in a particular place and time, they can provide a channel through which those characters can say the things they don’t want to or manage to say in words.

This week I’ve been in Norway, researching the locations of my 2019 novel, Lake Child, a thriller set in the Norwegian fjords.  In order to cover a number of locations, the most economic (in terms of time and cost) way to travel was via cruise ship, enabling me to sail in to Stavanger, Olden, Alesund and Bergen – four very different locations in the fjord region, giving me four very different perspectives to draw on for my novel.  I’m now entering the tricky second draft stage of writing Lake Child, and have returned from my trip energised and inspired by the experience of walking my characters’ paths.  Thank you to P&O Cruises for helping me with information, and for being fabulous travel hosts.  I’ll look forward to sharing more news on Lake Child (including cover reveal!) nearer publication …

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