Inhabiting Spaces

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

As I continue to work on book number two, writing and rewriting the first fifteen or so pages (now six or seven times, more or less because I try to remember that it isn't very productive to actually keep accurate count), I'm drawn back time after time to a book I read recently. "The Poetics of Space" by Gaston Bachelard, translated from the original 1957 French publication by Maria Jolas and released by Penguin Books in 2014 (cover picture extract), for me, represents the construct with a foundation of poetics (imagery) on the left and architecture (structure) on the right extremes. As they rise in my own consciousness and come together to form an apex (because don't most things come in threes?), they represent philosophy, or phenomenology as Bachelard expresses it. Why, then, does this book have such an effect on me and my writing, especially at this early point in developing the structure of my book? Because, more simply put, this book is about seeing and feeling and inhabiting "spaces" around us. How should my characters see events and people; how should this affect them and their action or reaction; and, finally, how do I communicate that on paper. The other book I find critical in thinking through the outline of my writing is "Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer" by Peter Turchi, released by Trinity University Press in 2004. As Turchi points out, maps are the means by which we find our way through a a maze of unknowns, and thus reduce our fear of those unknowns in the process. It's more than simply outlining the chronology of events or the feature characteristics; it's more than just mere description. This is my process, as frustrating as it is, and if I fight it, I lose the character and the words are nothing more than that when they hit the paper. It's about setting the right environment. laying out the right paths forward, and being comfortable enough with them to be able to show others what I see.


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