Here’s a strange thing: when you live in a place long enough, it starts to feel like home. It becomes a part of you, and you of it. You take on the characteristics of your home. If you move into a stylish flat, you unconsciously become more stylish to match it . . . or else, the apartment crumbles until it matches your decrepit personality.
(I’m moving house right now, so writing from experience)
Another thing that happens when you move house is that you throw things away. If you’re clever, you’ll throw away as much as possible before you move so that you don’t have to drag it around with you. But even if you do it the other way around, sooner or later you will end up throwing things away. Perhaps you’ll throw away things that you never thought you would part with, or things that you had forgotten you owned. It may feel like you are throwing away a part of yourself – but a part that is no longer relevant, or desirable, or necessary.
So it stands to reason that when you change the place where you live, you also change yourself. It sounds simplistic to say it, but where and how we choose to live defines, to a large extent, who we are. As a writer, it is something that I have sadly neglected. In future, characters and their residences should match, and even if I don’t specifically write how they live, I should at least plan it so that it is clear in my head.
Are you a writer, and have you also neglected this essential aspect of the craft? Or do you have a few tricks up your sleeve in this regard? Let me know.