Friday, March 10, 2017

Going Beyond Regionalism

My novel is populated with composite creations. I’ve mentioned before that I used bits and pieces of the many people I’ve known throughout my life, plus a few total strangers, to create characters. I did this to ensure that I wouldn’t annoy my friends and neighbors.
By using the setting of Bishop Hill, Illinois, my book probably merits a regional stamp. I’m fine with that. Fine with portraying the class, style, and wit of a unique section of America. Not every story has to happen in a large city or some other well-used location.

Should readers even care about location?

No, not really. After all, storytelling uses themes that cut across the boundaries of geography, class, and culture.

For instance, Shelley, my protagonist, is a new adult who is given a heroine’s quest. She has to find something. The quest forces her to grow and mature. By the end of the book she is faced with a difficult decision: will she or won’t she? The important thing is her choice. Location doesn’t matter.

My theme of preservation also isn’t limited to one area or region. People everywhere struggle to protect buildings, artifacts, habitats, and, on the most personal level—families.

Forgiveness, as a theme, is a kindness that I believe bears revisiting.

So is finding a way back home after yearning to breakaway.

Universal themes such as these unite our stories by finding common ground. The spice and flavor of the storytelling comes from the different vantage points on an infinite spectrum of possibilities.

My place on the spectrum is a quirky little place called Bishop Hill.

Should readers care about location?

Yes! Expand the imagination and gain a broader reading experience whenever possible. Take the path less traveled and see where it leads.

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