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Writers’ locations or does the earth move for you?

I stood on the rounded road stones, warmed by spring sunshine under a deep blue sky, and gazed up the road as it rose to the horizon. Red-tiled and grey stone shop fronts each side of the road. I steadied my breath, shut my eyes and heard the noises of nineteen hundred years ago.

This was Pompeii for me a week ago. Maybe I’m fanciful, but when I get to a location and I stand quietly, closing off the visual and aural senses, I try to draw on those other  hidden intuitive senses to feel the place I’m in. I imagine the crowds, the smells, the rattling carts, the cheeky kids, pickpockets, shopkeepers, the noise of humans shouting, pack-animals braying, dogs barking.

Then I can start writing…

More pictures of my Roman tour here.

7 comments to Writers’ locations or does the earth move for you?

  • Hello Alison,
    Lovely post and beautiful photos. My husband and I almost went to Pompeii once on the way back from Amalfi to Naples airport-but we didn’t leave ourselves enough time. Hope to go there one day. Bet you had an amazing trip and look forward to hearing more about it.

  • Alison

    Thanks, Anita. I hope to get the Pompeii photos on the site later this week.

  • Hi Alison
    Location is so vital – to me anyway.
    Loved your evocation of Pompeii. Many years since I was there. Maybe I need to go back.

  • Alison

    Pompeii is hypnotic. I hope to post a load more pictures of it in the next fews days so get ready!

    Seriously, smelling and sensing the location is such a help when writing.

  • Oh, lovely. I have never been to Italy – but would love to. Really must do something about that… but need to save up first. In the meantime will enjoy your description.

  • Alison

    Thanks, Chris. It was a fascinating tour and one I wanted to go on for much of my life! How I did it is here

    A warning! Don’t wait, or you’ll regret it…

  • I loved this but am so allergic to the dust at Pompeii I can never totally love it. So, there just has to be a story post next. Challenge a short flash fiction Pompeii , Ms Morton!x