Writing About Place and Space

By Marcus D. Niski

One of the things that I have long been captivated by are the elements of place and space. How we ‘see’ the world around us, and how we ‘react’ to it. The pictures we create in our minds that surround our daily lives and how we interpret them. How we react to ‘mundane things’, ‘objects’ and ‘occurrences’ that shape our reality.

My thesis has long been that the increasing pace of our society puts us less in touch with the simple mundane things that are so present in our everyday reality (or should be!). Our media, entertainment, and lives in general have been ‘dumbed down’ to accommodate such rapid exponential change.

Some of the greatest writers – in my opinion – are those who are able to ‘slow us down’ to really focus in on what most people miss: detail through studied observation.

Observation is a skill that can and must be practiced in good literary writing (and in life in general): William S. Burroughs argued that the trade skills of the writer are very similar in fact to the trade skills of the detective or the spy. I think there is a very strong analogy here between the two skill sets.

– Marcus D. Niski,  September 2017

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