The Power of Place in Writing a Novel

Have you ever thought about the power of place, of setting, in writing your novel?

The setting in most novels is nonspecific. Meaning that, while setting itself is important, the specificity of the setting is oftentimes not. The high school romance between Bella and Edward in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight could have begun in any modern high school cafeteria. Dan Millman’s Visionary Fiction novel, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, could have been set in any gas station, and in any university town, and still retain the thrust of the story.

Harper Lee, author of the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, said in a 1961 interview, “People will be people anywhere you put them.” She set her story in a nonspecific, generic Southern town she named Maycomb. The story could have taken place anywhere in the South during the early 1930’s. But what was important, and more specific, was that it was indeed set in the South. And the town of Maycomb represented a conglomeration of the Southern culture, tradition, and societal influences that shaped her story and her characters’ experiences.

Shangri-La

Could James Hilton’s classic, Lost Horizon, be set anywhere other than Shangri-La, the earthly paradise hidden in the Himalayan Mountains? Or in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland – Alice could have fallen down a mining pit, a well hole, or her rabbit hole, but what was important is that the hole led her down into the magical realm of Wonderland. And this magical setting colored how the story unfolded.

Peter Pan’s adventures would not have been the same if they were not experienced specifically in Neverland. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code needed to take place within the religious structures found in Italy. It couldn’t have happened anywhere else.

These latter examples illustrate how there are also many novels where a specific setting is central to the story. Place can be key in writing a novel. Story can be shaped by place. Place can even function as a main character in a novel. This is especially so within the genre of Visionary Fiction.

 

Visionary Fiction authors write in a unique genre, one that infuses story with spiritual and metaphysical themes meant to catalyze shifts of consciousness. Certain16773_the_lord_of_the_rings specific places – such as sacred sites, places of legend, places of energy locus, or places of spiritual activation – have qualities that can interact with and influence a character’s transformational arc, and enable their shifts in consciousness. Think of places such as Lourdes, Mecca, Atlantis, the Elvin Otherworld Realm, Sedona, or Camelot. It is precisely because of their unique geographical, archetypal, or mythical energies, that such specific places will influence a story’s characters. Yes, Harper Lee, people will be people anywhere you put them. But certain settings can exert a powerful influence, no matter what character is placed there.

By their very nature, such special places act as agents of change. They are instrumental in accelerating transformations in a character, in stimulating their growth. In these special and specific places, there is an inter-dependent relationship between character and place. This relationship fosters the interactions that serve to inspire a character’s development. Because of this, setting can function much like a story character.

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Chalice Well, Glastonbury

Place plays a specific and foundational role in my Visionary Fiction novels. In particular, it is Glastonbury, England that inspires my writing and my characters. When I first read the classic novel, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, I was enchanted with the story’s setting in Glastonbury, the ancient Isle of Avalon. After reading the novel, I visited Glastonbury and found I had a kinship with the land and its legends. So much so that upon arriving there, I had the overwhelming compulsion to bend down and kiss the very earth. While I (barely) managed to restrain myself, that feeling reinforced the idea that specific settings powerfully influence us. And they influence our characters.

I eventually moved to Glastonbury for 13 months in order to immerse myself in its energy and do research for my books. While living in Glastonbury, I would make daily excursions to the Chalice Well, one of its more powerful sacred sites. Spending time in the Chalice Well Gardens quenched a deep longing within me as only the fulfillment of a spiritual quest can do. During my daily visits, I would experience spontaneous waking visions that stirred my soul and informed my writing. I studied the local folklore – the Arthurian, Celtic, Goddess, pre-Christian, Pagan, and Christian legends. Glastonbury taught me to explore the realms of mystery and magic, and helped me to discover worlds seen and unseen. The worlds that lay parallel to our everyday existence. These are the worlds that Visionary Fiction is created from.

Isle_of_Avalon_

Avalon

By tapping into the energy inherent in the land, into its realms of myth and archetype, I was able to weave visionary and magical aspects through my novels. I used all of my experiences, my interactions with the land of Glastonbury, and began to write my Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series about priestesses who have lived in Avalon throughout the ages up through today

Glastonbury remains one of my favorite spots on earth. The Chalice Well Gardens, the beacon-like hill called the Tor – all the sacred sites I was introduced to through reading The Mists of Avalon – touched the core of my being, and continue to inspire the characters, and content, of all of my Visionary Fiction stories.

Can you think of other examples of novels where setting played a key role in the story?

How has place inspired your writing?

 

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About Jodine Turner

Jodine Turner is an award-winning, best-selling Visionary Fiction and magical realism author, Adorata Practitioner, therapist, and consecrated priestess. She writes about how the most potent transformative power – Embodied Love – is the next step in the evolution of humankind. Through story, Jodine takes you on an initiatory journey into the Goddess, as well as the Sacred Union of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine within. Jodine authored “The Awakening: Rebirth of Atlantis” and “The Keys to Remember”, followed by "Carry on the Flame: Destiny's Call", and "Carry on the Flame: Ultimate Magic."
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44 Responses to The Power of Place in Writing a Novel

  1. libredux says:

    What a great piece, Jodine. I think you are so right about setting being sometimes more important in visionary fiction than in other fiction types. One example that came to my mind were the Chronicles of Narnia, necessarily set inside a wardrobe (a parallel universe) in WWII England. The contrast between the worlds emphasises the escape to fantasy and a cause for opening potential and saving a realm of magic. In a similar way, my own novel is set in a fictional city in New York – Hadescape (named after the Roman land of the dead), where the characters all die and their next "incarnations" have to meet again. But I can't say the setting is quite as instrumental to my novel as it is to yours. 🙂

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    • Saleena, The Chronicles of Narnia is a wonderful example.
      Next to the Mists of Avalon, it ranks as one of my all time favorite novel series. I enjoyed your point about the wardrobe being the parallel universe, a bridge into the magical world of Narnia. Similar in function to the rabbit tunnel in Alice in Wonderland.

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      • libredux says:

        I too loved the Chronicles as a kid – and funny you should mention Alice in Wonderland. I read it so many times that at one point I had practically memorised the whole thing.

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  2. I just started your first novel last night, Jodine, and am enjoying both the Isle of Avalon and Atlantis. We seem to see both places very similarly. I agree that Visionary Fiction in particular is connected to the powers of the land. Glastonbury has inspired so many novels, as has Egypt. My first novel is set in Egypt. When I first met my husband, I didn't share his love of Egypt, but when he took me there, the temples grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. From that landscape and the stories about it, I fashioned my novel. Then I took my characters to Glastonbury and Atlantis, because those two seem connected.

    My third novel is similarly connected to the land, my childhood home. I pretended like there was a sacred spring there, and in the midst of writing the novel discovered there is a spring very close to where I'd imagined it to be. The land spoke to me all along. In that novel, I also explore the sacred landscape of Prague. That is a metaphysical city if there ever was one. I think it might beat Paris for sacred geometry. Oh, and I threw in some of D.C.'s sacred geometry as well.

    I think Visionary Fiction brings out the magic of the land, which is important today since the age of science, which brought us so many wonders, also denied the consciousness of place. Yes, place has awareness. I remember doing a big group meditation in the Smoky Mountains and the mountain woke up in the middle of our meditation. It said, "I haven't felt this for a very long time." It meant humans meditating. Visionary Fiction helps people connect to the planet consciously. Then we'll treat her as she deserves.

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  3. Theresa,
    I so agree with you – "Visionary Fiction helps people connect to the planet consciously." VF is so suited to showcasing setting as a prominent character in a novel. Your group meditation and the Smoky Mountains response really touched me deeply.

    One of RJ Stewart's books is called "Power Within the Land." It explores, through the Western Mystery Tradition, how the land shapes cultures and interacts with the energies of the local deities. The book also offers meditations and rituals to directly interact with the land. For example, the divine mother of compassion might be Quan Yin in China; and in Prague She would be Mother Mary. The land influences how Her energy is experienced.

    I have heard much about Prague's mystical nature and would love to explore it someday.

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  4. Bob Edward Fahey says:

    My novels are not only visionary fiction, but literary fiction. Every word, every setting offers deep metaphysical. psychospiritual, and metaphorical layers. If there is dust in the air, and someone notices, we discover something about him in how he sees it. – I just came away from 6 months exploring, Glastonbury, Castlerigg, Edinburgh, Newgrange and other centers of eternal magic and mystery. As I write in my latest book: "An ancient place of worship is much more than tombs and history. More than those who have led, or perhaps misled it. – It is passion left behind in the stones by masons as they chipped it together. – It’s babies lost in fields by poor farmers and grieving parents who couldn't make it in for services. – It is need, it’s fulfillment, and it’s an unquenchable quest. – It is unknowable mysteries; and a deep silent knowing. A building is only sacred to the degree that it taps into something that could never be contained within its structure. – Church leaders can only lead by humbly following. They offer hope by getting down in the mud with the hopeless. They offer strength to the weak through their own vulnerabilities; their compassion comes from deep resonant empathy. – In ancient abbeys, monasteries, and churches I have felt all this pouring through the walls, through the centuries. As time and structure crumble away, I swim in that vast, uncontainable glory."

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    • Well put, Bob, and welcome as a commenter. An excellent book is like the Universe itself. Everything, from panorama to pebble, is there for a reason. Else the Creator, prolific but prudent, would not have placed it there.

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  5. Bob Edward Fahey says:

    I write in this same book: "There are places on this planet where original spirit has never been lost. It is in such areas that the miracles of Jesus and the magic of Merlin were born. King Arthur, and all the brightest, most hopeful of legends set out from them on their legendary quests. Avalon. Lourdes. Ancient Egypt and Greece.
    In such radiant centers, magic is real. God lives and moves about freely.
    There are hidden sites on this planet not confined to the logic of men or the limitations of science. Something inside a few special people draws them near when they’re ready.
    Early man may have erected strange mounds there, or circles of giant stones. Early religious seers built great cathedrals or temples where these mounds had once stood. Legends spread about miracles and healing wonders, and for centuries pilgrims have flocked in from all lands.
    Or they may just have been left alone, unknown but to the few; tended by very special beings.
    We may be drawn to them as we open to the spirit within us."
    – From "The Gardens of Ailana" by Edward Fahey. – Coming out this spring.

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  6. Well put, Bob Edward Fahey! You have captured the essence of the mystical and magical certain special places offer. And setting our scenes in our VF novels in such places adds a rich layer of interaction and depth to our novels. and if offers not only our characters, but our readers, the opportunity to connect to that magic.

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  7. Oh my, Jodine, I identify with this post in so many ways that I hardly know where to begin.

    Let me start with your statements: "Story can be shaped by place. Place can even function as a main character in a novel. This is especially so within the genre of Visionary Fiction."

    My "Enter the Between" series was inspired by place. I had no idea I would write four novels, let alone one, until, 15 years ago, when I stood near the Lone Cypress on the 17-mile drive on the Monterey Peninsula in California. As with your experience in Glastonbury, England, my unexpected kinship with this location quenched a longing within me and sparked the beginning of what I've come to describe as a spiritual journey.

    "Visionary Fiction authors write in a unique genre, one that infuses story with spiritual and metaphysical themes meant to catalyze shifts of consciousness."

    I am perplexed as to why it has taken so long for visionary fiction writers to find a home. Why on earth isn't there a demand among agents and publishers and the public for stories that "catalyze shifts of consciousness" when the world needs it so?

    "…places act as agents of change." "…setting can function much like a story character." "…spontaneous waking visions that stirred my soul and informed my writing."

    In my four novels, setting came first. It was while visiting Carmel Valley, Big Sur, Carmel, and Silicon Valley, that ideas and characters entered my mind. With each stop, I imagined happenings, characters, conflicts, emotions, and spiritual discoveries that had never occurred to me before.

    Which leads to your next statement. "…specific settings powerfully influence us."

    My experiences at the locations above have inspired me for 15 years. How's that for a powerful influence?

    And finally: "Glastonbury taught me to explore the realms of mystery and magic, and helped me to discover worlds seen and unseen. The worlds that lay parallel to our everyday existence. These are the worlds that Visionary Fiction is created from."

    What Glastonbury did for you, the locations I mentioned above did for me. I knew while standing near the "Lone Cypress," that I'd write a novel and that it would include the paranormal and realms of mystery and magic–worlds unseen. What I didn't know at the time was that the story I was about to write had no label or genre. Not that this knowledge would have stopped me. Actually, I'm glad I didn't know what I know now or my novels would never have been written.

    Thank you for a post that demonstrates that I'm not alone. VFA has provided me with a home.

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  8. Margaret,
    Your wonderful Lone Cypress has done for you and your readers, exactly what powerful places do. They interact and connect with us and inspire creativity and transformation. They are indeed a character in and of themselves. I loved your example and how it fits into your novels and also inspires them.

    No, you're not alone anymore! I believe there are many of us who love to write and read this genre. The publishing industry will catch up to this demand. I am happy to be a fore-runner in promoting this genre, and in the company of those such as yourself!

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  9. Bob Edward Fahey says:

    "The woods that pre-dawn looked like my future. Shifting shadows, depressions and crests. Twisting and uncertain, they could lead just about anywhere, or keep me lost forever. Thorns, hidden life, things that would tear at me, webs I’d walk into built by something with a purpose.
    Not a place to take on alone."
    – From "The Mourning After"

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    • Given the concept that we create or project our own realities, it is almost mandatory that the setting chosen reflect the mind of the character observing it!

      And that was a new thought that came to me as I was reading this intriguing post and the comments. Am going to have to do something special with it.

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      • Yes, Vic. As well as the character reflecting the energy of the special setting chosen!
        I eagerly await what you are going to do with this!

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      • Bob Edward Fahey says:

        I open/create worlds and beings to populate them. Even the weather becomes a protagonist. Then, at publication, I need to wait months for that world to dissolve before I can find an open enough space in which to start digging for the seeds of the next world. – As a book unfolds, I see the world around me through the eyes of whichever character steps forward at that moment. I don't cuss, but have been known to turn my eyes heavenward and say, "Sorry, God, but he'd really talk like that!" – If my books reflect anything into the readers' minds, it can only be because the characters have first reflected these into mine.

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  10. Bob Edward Fahey says:

    I spend several months a year in England, exploring "spooky places". I find that if you approach each with no expectations, but with a sensitive, open spiritual sensing, you will take them more deeply and meaningfully inside you. For me, and my partner in exploration, there may be more spirit to Castlerigg than to the much better known Stonehenge. The graveyard at Greyfriars church in Edinburgh is horrific, but the one beside Rosslyn chapel, just a few miles away, is sweet and gentle. Explore and write with no expectations. Let the wonders come alive within you and let each moment be unique. I think of writing, like any creative art, as creative exploration. If I can't constantly be surprising myself, how could I possibly hope to offer any unexpected twists for the reader?

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  11. tuilorraine says:

    Jodine, thank-you so much for this thoughtful and interesting post. Of course it triggered thoughts of how I arrived at my own settings.
    When I was young I sailed in the middle of the ocean and was so awe-struck by that unpeopled world, I felt I had arrived on a different planet with alien life forms. There was life everywhere but so alien I knew nothing about what passed in their minds, what their culture was like, how they filled their days.

    But the beauty of the tradewinds that blew us along, the danger of the storms that threatened our lives, the glory of the night skies with starlight so unpolluted by any human light or city, that it blazed as I had never known it could, all these things entered my spirit and would never be shifted and that's why it became the setting for my stories. I could never research the culture of those people of the sea as you can research places like Glastonbury Jodine, but I had to research the biology of my characters and the nature of the marine environment itself and all the other creatures living there to give my stories their authenticism.

    Their culture, their background, their history, the structure of their societies, I had to create for myself so I started near the beginning of that history, twenty million years ago, when it was all still in its formative phases. I often felt that the stories were sent to me from the sea and did not really originate in my own brain and weird things have happened since that reinforce that perception.

    For example, dolphin family structures have proven to be very much as I describe it, in research of wild dolphins that has been conducted since my book was published.

    Most weird of all, not long after my book came out, a photograph began circulating on the internet. It showed an octopus being carried over the sea by a dolphin, just as I had described in my story. I had no idea at the time I wrote it, that this might actually happen in the wild. How had I known? It was very eerie to see that photo but many of my readers spotted it and it was forwarded on to me over and over again by people who had read my Ripple story, with its accounts of octopuses being carried by dolphins.

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    • Tui, I love how, as you say, 'the stories were sent to you'…and how 'weird things have happened that reinforce that perception'…. As well as factual verification of what you wrote about, before you know of the factual verification.

      I had that experience in my first novel on Atlantis. (actually have had the experience with all of them). I purposefully do not research certain legends before I let my creative imagination write my first draft. I like to see how often I come up with things that get verified afterwards, or align with theories as in the case of Atlantis. The synchronicities are amazing….as you have noted. There seem to be many awe inspiring validations when we connect with a special and powerful place such as the ocean, or some land based power spot, those places that inspire and inform our writing…and thus our characters.

      I, too resonate with the ocean, yet in a different facet – that of the Goddess of the Stars and the Sea, who is an evolutionary divine force in my novels.

      I felt a wonderful emotional connection with your dolphin novel, Ripple. I can see and feel how your experience as a young child, sailing the ocean, inspired your writing.

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      • Bob Edward Fahey says:

        "I guess I still believe in coincidence.
        But only for everyday folks.
        Once you step fully into your Quest for Spirit though, commit to it with all of your being, your whole life becomes a mesh of synchronized miracles.
        You can’t call that coincidence anymore.
        Even miracles follow the Laws of Nature.
        Scientists map only the surface of things.
        Mystics know them more deeply."

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    • Thanks for this. When I read, I realized why Michener–often to my irritation–started so many of his place-oriented novels all the way back with the dinosaurs. Like you, he too felt compelled to start "near the beginning of that history, twenty million years ago, when it was all still in its formative phases."

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      • tuilorraine says:

        Except that unlike Michener, my story was almost completely set back there twenty million years ago. It began AND ended then, though it did have some effects on modern life.

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    • Admin - Eleni says:

      I also appreciate how you mentioned that it felt as if the story were sent to you. I also get that with all my stories, and it's nice to hear other authors discussing this. Perhaps it's a topic for another blog post? It would be fascinating to see how many authors relate to this.

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  12. Bob Edward Fahey says:

    I promise: I won't keep dumping my excerpts here, but your article and this subject really have me excited. They are just what I write about, and how I write about it:
    "It was a dense, moldering night, smelling of damp old basements and times best left unstirred. All those long dark hours, grief-strewn winds wailed through the trees. Calling like tender misplaced memories. Moaning, “Vrrommm … Mrroammm …” Not just lamenting, but beckoning. I took it in as someone crying out for me to “Comme … hommme…”
    But I had no home. Homes were filled with loss and I’d had enough of that. I’d squandered my childhood locked up inside, catching glimpses of life and the world only through windows and books, as my parents had waited for my heart to finish me off. Then death had taken them first. I’d spent my few adult years running away from any threat of settling down, refusing to take in any more grief, but felt it following as I’d fled.
    I’d gone out into the world, intricately lacing distractions and busywork around the long-gnawing emptiness, only to find I’d merely embellished rather than hidden it. I’d buried death under deep mounds of chitchat, but still heard it rustling in there.
    This troubled old cabin with its veiled history had called to me from so far away. But even here I was infested with the roving misery of spirits who could never touch their loved ones again.
    Especially here. I couldn’t heal their wounds, couldn’t even pat them reassuringly; but I would not be just one more who’d turned away.
    It all felt so hauntingly personal. We were all lost spirits, neighbors in need, afraid to knock, lingering just along the fuzzy edges of each other’s most intimate buried memories.
    On through those long hours, my heart shredded by the winds, I stayed up; unpacking, writing by moody, tossing candlelight, or stalling out to listen in on the sorrow. Letting it soak through me, draw me into its churning, writhing bosom.
    Darkness crept through. Shadows pried at doors, teased dull edges of recollections that never quite took hold. Memories that would have shriveled under the blinding sun of daylight. And reason."

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  13. I'm so glad to hear of and see your excitement over Visionary Fiction!
    Such an evocative excerpt. I felt the winds and the grief, loved your description.
    My favorite passages: "On through those long hours, my heart shredded by the winds, I stayed up; unpacking, writing by moody, tossing candlelight, or stalling out to listen in on the sorrow."
    "Memories that would have shriveled under the blinding sun of daylight. And reason.”

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  14. Anne T Kerrigan says:

    Jodine,

    Thank you for writing this post. And thank you to everyone for the thoughtful replies. Like so many of the articles I read here, they help to keep me motivated. I can easily relate to what you all share as visionary fiction authors.

    I am working on my first book intended for publishing. All my other writing has been for personal use and preparation for this time in my life. It is a children's mid-grade fiction. In my story the main character lives in a unnamed northwestern town; this place has mountains and snow. But in his dream I am much more specific to his location. He spends most of his time in Doncaster, England, then travels a through Hope Valley to the east coast town of Runcor.

    I love that with this style of writing our characters can be anywhere and do anything. It is all up to our imagination and our inspiration!

    Again, thank you all!
    Anne

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    • Welcome, Anne. In a way all VF authors are rookies discovering their inner wise elder. Fellow travelers. As they say in many places, "Keep comin' back."

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    • Yes indeed our characters can be anywhere and do anything in VF, Anne! And also in VF, I think our characters get to explore special power spots on the earth in a more in depth and unique way, the way of mystery and magic between the realities.

      Blessings on your 'first book intended for publishing'. I'm am so glad you enjoy the articles here – you have entered the kindred spirit zone!

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    • Admin - Eleni says:

      Hi Anne:

      Welcome, and I'm glad to hear you're motivated. Best of luck. You'll find this group to be very supportive and helpful.

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  15. Late posting here so a lot of the good "places" are already taken, but thank you, Jodine, for returning our attention to that basic choice of place so fundamental to a good visionary novel.

    Since I write largely about reincarnation, I treat the character's body as part of the environment, the place or vehicle he has chosen to inhabit most appropriate for the current lifetime quest. And, interestingly, since my works are usually based on history, my settings are predetermined. I find it important to go to the places about which I am writing, spend time there, and absorb the spirit of the environment, even if its look has radically changed over the centuries,

    The stones literally speak to me.There is a chapter in my current novel about Dachau. Despite trepidation, I visited that Nazi concentration camp (my great-grandmother died in one of the camps), and there the stones wept with me. I will never forget the moment–the challenge remains to capture that experience of being one with the pain as well as shame of millions into words. Still working on it.

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  16. Vic, yes there is that aspect of places where deep emotion gets imprinted in the stones and the earth where tragedy has happened. thank you for bringing that up. That is another face of powerful places interacting with us and then our characters. I can only imagine the feeling when the stones wept with you. It touched me even in your brief description.

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  17. drstephenw says:

    Jodine, you already know I loved your article so much that I have reblogged it at http://www.qaraqbooks.com/magical-places-then-now

    I am not surprised the comments have been flying fast and free, because this piece is absolutely inspiring. I relate to Vic in that, in terms of reincarnation fiction, the idea of place has an incredible importance and reality. I have so many ideas from thinking about the article, such as the difference between magical Times and magical Places in fiction. Thank you, Jodine, and everyone, for your words.

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  18. Thank you, Stephen, and I'm so glad to hear it sparked your creativity. I do look forward to the ideas that come forth from you. Please share more as they emerge!
    Especially when you say 'the difference between magical Times and magical Places in fiction.'

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  19. Pingback: Magical Places, Then, Now, and Forever | Qaraq Books

  20. Bob Edward Fahey says:

    My book, "The Mourning After", is also about reincarnation, though the reincarnated narrator doesn't at first believe in it. He's a sickly home-schooled kid with no friends. He doesn't know whether his over-powering memories are actually ghosts, daytime dreams, or over-active imagination. I sneak up on the clear truth gradually so that the reader will catch on long before he does. As he grows up he travels – driven but he doesn't know by what – and the places he whips through are just places. They don't mean anything and are hardly mentioned. But then he is drawn to the scene of his most recent life and death, and even the woods and the winds know this. – So NOW place steps in as a major player in the story.

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  21. Admin - Eleni says:

    "By their very nature, such special places act as agents of change. They are instrumental in accelerating transformations in a character, in stimulating their growth."

    In all my books, the setting is the key to propelling the characters forward. Yes, setting can act as the catalyst for growth! I love how you stated it and also enjoyed reading all the responses. I never get tired of hearing your spiritual connection to Glastonbury. It sounds so mystical, magical, and inspirational.

    I do find it interesting how a setting can propel a character to evolve. We were talking about Babylon 5 today. The setting, which was the space station, brought together all the alien cultures. Within the cramped space, they all had to put their differences aside in order to fight their enemies. Lost had the island, where people were brought together after an airplane crash, and we later learned they all needed each other to move on to their next lives.

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  22. Eleni, Yes, I'm afraid I do go on about Glastonbury, don't I? 🙂 A true daughter of Avalon.
    I love your VF examples in television series. VF is relevant in so many different forms of art.

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  23. btlowry says:

    Hi Jodine. Thanks for this thoughtful post. I hadn't thought about it in that way before, that for some stories a specific setting is not so important, while for others it is vital. It's not visionary fiction, but I read Blood Meridian recently by Cormac McCarthy. It's about border wars that took place between the nascent US and Mexico. There setting is very important, and McCarthy brings it to life vividly.
    I mostly write in fantasy worlds myself, and the setting is always critical to the story.
    I also spent time in Glastonbury, and often drank from the Chalice Well. It's quite an energy-rich and historically alive place isn't it?

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  24. B.T., Good to see you here, I enjoyed perusing your website!
    I like how you put it – Glastonbury is indeed "an energy-rich and historically alive place." It does remain alive in me after my interactions with it. Definitely inspiring, and a magical setting in the truest sense of the word. My hope is that the alive magic gets conveyed in my writing.

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  25. So true: "…while setting itself is important, the specificity of the setting is oftentimes not."

    As is your other comment about specificity of setting…

    My last book (which I've realized fits into the "genre" of Visionary) is placed in an alien star-system.

    Part of the specificity (which also works to further plot through metaphysics) is the unique Plasma environment—plus, my leap from the science of Plasma Cosmology to the spiritual communion my aliens experience through the Plasma…

    At first, I thought my next book would happen on Earth; but, my Muse grabbed me firmly, shook my creativity, and told me it had to be in the same Place as the last one 🙂

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  26. An alien star system with a plasma environment is quite a unique and specific setting, Alexander…no other could suffice in your story!
    I relate to your comment…" my Muse grabbed me firmly, shook my creativity, and told me…" One of the fascinating experiences of being a writer, isn't it?

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