Few of the places exist in this world, but that doesn't make them unreal.
Even a story like The Quick & the Undead, which has no particular setting, was shaped for me by the places within its world. The plot was built and rebuilt inside two imaginary parlours (and one carriage). I did not know how it ended until I walked into the room where its conclusion occured.
I am currently weaving fragile strands of a new story into its wild and still-shifting shape. I have the wordless looks in it, and the silences in it, the buried sorrows, and the central idea that guides all which happens. But I won't hold the story properly, or be able to write it, until I have become grounded in its place. Will that be a dark, witch-eyed Slavic forest, or a damp and bony moor? Or will it be a road into the peace of the heartland?
I don't know yet. I'm not welcomed in just now (I still have some proving of myself to do). But I understand that the place of the story is the voice of the story, and so I will wait at its threshold, listening to the whispers of old water, weeping skies, and I will wonder ...
(This is the seventh post in a 12-part series about stories and storytelling, to help promote my fund-raising storybook The Coracle Sky, which is now available.)