Inspiration for Writing: Geography

Sacre Coeur

My spirit is uplifted by grand buildings. I hear the whisperings of times past. Stories seep out of the old stone, echoes of footsteps remind me of people I have never met and never will.

The Montmartre church, the Basilique of Sacre Coeur, makes me think of secret rendezvous and gatherings of folk. I loved gathering on the steps of this church with my friends to chat and look out across Paris. I also loved looking up at the brilliant blue sky, which I captured in this photo.

The walls of the Mont St. Michel village house lost rituals, much prayer and the goings on of daily life. A touristy village wraps around the combination chapel, old abbey and fortress that is known as Mont. St. Michel. I snapped this photo of a strange gargoyle like stone figure jutting above some flowers.


Mont St. Michel

Mont St. Michel




I’m so inspired by French churches and cathedrals that I transport myself there in my fiction. In one of my unpublished novels, April’s Folly, a futuristic, I transplanted  the Paris Notre Dame cathedral into the side of a mountain in the San Francisco Bay Area. In my current novel, The Dragon Stone, one of the castles is inspired by Mont St. Michel.


These images that live in my office bring me back to a place that I touched and to another time that I never lived, to another time that may never have existed. In search of answers and stories, I’ve added my footsteps to those of my millions of fellow travelers.

Place evokes so much for me. And you? Write about a place, natural or manmade. Here are some questions to bring words to the surface:

  •  What places are you passionate about?
  • What does that place inspire in you?
  • How can you bring the five senses of a place into your writing
  • What stories does this place evoke for you?

Write in and share your favorite place and how you brought it into your writing.

Happy Place Writing!

c. 2008 Beth Barany

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  • Lea Schizas says:

    I love castles, old castles, mansions, anything to do with a legend, an event, or possible haunting. Mind you, I won’t and haven’t gone into any haunted place and I don’t think I ever will, but I’m fascinated with them. They add a mystery to solve, an entity to figure out and answer the who/what/and so forth.

    Great writing material.

  • Beth Barany says:

    Hi Lea, Ooh! I hope you will get a chance to visit an old spooky site!

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