A sense of place: accessing our fictional mind-map
2 February @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
About the session:
A Mind Map, in this context, is a phrase used to describe the location-based memories that overlay our actual surroundings. An example may be an exceptional night in a bar you always think of, as you walk past a McDonald’s that’s now in its place. McDonald’s is the real geography, but in your mind, you see the bar every time. This location has meaning only to you and is firmly on your fictional mind map, but everyone else sees McDonald’s. To take it a step further, in unfamiliar surroundings you may use your imagination to overlay fictional events that pertain to you or your characters.
As humans, we do this unconsciously. As writers, we may be more aware – actively searching for the perfect house for a character or a place for a key event in a story. This workshop aims to put a focus on the practice of the fictional mind map as an essential part of writing.
Participants will take a short walk around Nottingham City Centre together. En route, each participant will secretly choose a location that is connected to a memory or a place where they would like to start their story. The group will take a second walk, and this time will stop at all of their chosen locations. Each participant will tell the group about that location for five minutes. It may be a memory – from their internal ‘mind map’- or it may be fiction. It could be a story, the beginnings of a poem or the description of a fictional character who used to reside in the building. There are no rules for this – even well-known buildings can be reused to turn what is known on its head.
The group will return to the studio to take part in a series of writing activities and exercises. The aim of the workshop is to learn how to use our everyday surroundings as inspiration for our writing.
- Write away from the keyboard/notebook
- Access location-based memory or creativity – using your mind map
- Find the magic in everyday life – familiar surroundings with a playful eye
- Oral storytelling and spontaneity
- Supporting one another in a creative group environment – sharing inspiration
About Marie Peach
For the last 20 years, Marie has written “out loud”, using dictation software, due to a condition that prevents her from typing or writing pain-free. The result is a trade-off of the privacy of staying inside her head – because as writers our hands are an extension of our thoughts – and Marie had to find a new way of writing.
Marie’s words still find themselves on the page using high-tech equipment, but they arrive there via the oldest storytelling tool we know – the voice.
As an undergraduate, Marie created an audio choose-your-own-adventure detective plot that relied on the location of participants, as they walked along Nottingham Canalside. She believes that a strong sense of place for our stories and characters makes for playful and authentic storytelling. Marie has a creative writing MA with distinction.
Book your place
The price of this session is £22 for general admission and £16 for NWS members. Book your place below, or to find out about joining NWS, head to our membership page.