Posts Tagged With: Houses

Haunted Houses

Having difficulty  describing a character?

Not even clear yourself about his or her motivation? The Metaphor of house

Describe where they live.

The details of a home or a home environment can serve your character and your story in many ways.  First, symbolically, like  Huck Finn’s raft, a haunted house, rooms that are always cold, libraries filled with books that are never read (Great Gatsby)  or a back door that stays unlocked.

Until we stop and consider it, the house has always stood as a solid metaphor or analogy for characters and plots.  Many authors use the  idea and symbolism of the house  in their work including Virginia Woolf (A Room of Her Own), Jack London (Little Lady of the House), Edith Wharton (House of Mirth, Age of Innocence) and of course Downton Abbey which is a whole show centered around the house.

We love houses, we are drawn to them as evidenced by real estate shows, DIY shows, extreme home make over, and Hoarders. I think Hoarders is especially popular because you can slump in your green sprung couch surrounded by Little Caesar pizza boxes and 1997 issues of National Geographic and say, well, at least my home isn’t as bad as theirs.

Probably true.

The second part of this conversation of house as a metaphor is if course,  what does your own house or room of your own say about you?

In a recent issue of O magazine, Martha Beck suggests that when you describe your house – quickly – the ten minute write way – you will have created a metaphorical description of your inner world.

I haven’t done it myself  – too scary.

Homes, our living environments, reflect directly on our character.  You can use that information to evaluate your life, give a third dimension to your fictional character or the very idea that our furniture is a reflection of our inner lives can just inspire you to re-consider that green couch.

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Spring Cleaning

Powerscourt, Ireland

I’ve always wondered about the idea of spring cleaning, until I noticed that when the late afternoon sun streams through the windows, I see. . .

Yeah, more sunshine means we notice how dirty everything in the house is.

Did you know that for decades authors have used houses and interior descriptions of rooms to reflect their characters?  Jack London, Edith Wharton, Dorothy Parker, Henry James, the first chapter in 1984  to name a few.  Where and how we live is an obvious expression of who we are, our priorities and what we are dealing with that very minute. The house is the external expression of our internal world.

This knowledge can help you in two ways.

Stuck really describing a character?  Not even clear yourself about his or her motivation?

Describe their home.  You may not even pick up on the subtlies, but they will be there, as symbols or more obvious traits: the house is always cold, the back door is always left unlocked.

The second way this knowledge can help you is to look at your own house.

Why is the TV show Hoarders so popular?  You can sit on your sprung couch surrounded by Little Caesar pizza boxes and 1997 issues of National Geographic and say, well, at least my home isn’t as bad as theirs.

Probably true.  But what does your clutter say about you?

While we are at it, how big is that TV?

In a recent issue of O magazine, Martha Beck suggests that you describe your house – quickly – the ten minute write way – and you will create an metaphorical description of your inner world.

Scary huh?  You can use that information to evaluate your life, your environment or re-consider the couch.  Or ignore it.  But homes, our living environments reflect directly on our character.

Categories: Newbie Guide Notes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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