‘Deep roots in settings needed in writing novels’ – Hidalgo

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(File photo by Mark Darius M. Sulit/The Varsitarian)

ASPIRING novelists must be “deeply rooted” in the place where their fictional works are set, veteran Thomasian writer Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo said.

“Whether it’s a short story or a novel, you need to be deeply rooted in the place where your [story] is set [since] it creates a world,” Hidalgo said during the 3rd Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio Writers Workshop last July 12 at the University of the Philippines–Diliman.

Hidalgo, director of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies, however said rootedness does not equate to “living in that world.”

“When I was living abroad, I could not write fiction. If you are traveling as a tourist, that is out of the question because you don’t know the place where you are,” she said.

Subscribing to the “Philippine reality” can be a good start in writing a novel, Hidalgo said.

Hidalgo served as a guest panelist of the workshop, which is dedicated to improving the craft of young novelists.

Other workshop panelists were award-winning writers Charlson Ong, Genevieve Asenjo, Glenn Diaz, Ramon Guillermo, Jun Cruz Reyes and Krip Yuson.

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