Universality ~ A to Z Blogging Challenge


Bucharest, Romania

The theme of universality in fiction has always been of interest to me. The idea that no matter where we are — say, the most fascinating place there is — we deal with the same issues: love, hate, fear, family.

I’m immediately pulled into a story with characters from different backgrounds, different countries, people dealing with linguistic barriers. Curious characters who ameliorate the cultural gap by reaching out or asking for help have my full attention. Let the world be our classroom.

Universality covers a variety or areas, from cities such as Bucharest, Romania (above) to villages like the image below (village we visited outside Bucharest).

What better way to experience a new way of life than through literature?


In Stranger or Friend, the character’s views are universal, but day-to-day life remains local, hence the conflict. Seeing as this was my debut novel, ambitions had to be managed, and the story worked best in its current format.

This will change in the next Zoe Sinclair novel, a story which aside from a couple of written chapters resides only as an outline in my mind.

~ What do you think about a story as the best way to travel? 


8 responses to “Universality ~ A to Z Blogging Challenge

  1. Storys are a great place to travel and the real stories are the best to learn from.
    Wow today is “U”

  2. Yes, I agree Silvia, it’s a great way to travel through time, culture and location. I remember early favorite books that took place in other states or countries and found that aspect fascinating since we didn’t go far from home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The everglades of Florida, the desert in Arizona, the mountains of Afghanistan and the people who dwelled there were all early characters who piqued my curiosity.

  3. A wonderful way to travel – in my case, literally, to do research. A very thoughtful post, Sylvia!

  4. Like you, I love diverse cultures. I want to see how people live and what experiences they go through in life. Are we really different, or do we have the same challenges in a different language and location? Excellent comments and thoughts.

  5. I have done some of my best world traveling via books.

    Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

  6. Stories are some of the best ways to travel. And they have inspired real travel for me personally. Also, reading a story is such a more exciting way to learn than just reading facts. Ask any kid. I personally know so much more now from reading historical fiction on the Battle of Waterloo and the Napoleonic Wars than I would have ever imagined! And this is from reading Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series.

  7. Stories are a great way to travel, whether to distant lands, into differences and commonalities of different cultures through intriguing characters’ thought processes, and into the tangled webs of personal and political strife those characters face.
    Nothing beats “real” travel, but reading is the only way I’m ever likely to get to most of the places on my bucket list.

  8. Hi Silvia – yes we all do have the same challenges along that road of life wherever we live and so weaving them in to our novels makes sense – and will be much more so for you having originally come from the country – you’ll understand it better. I wouldn’t mind writing about some places because I’ve visited and learnt .. but I’d struggle to write about a place I’ve no concept of … eg the Saudi Arabia – which I’ve only seen in films … and having experienced South Africa .. I think if I lived in Saudi .. I’d now feel the same way … anxious about the repression of many peoples, as I did in Czechoslovakia when I visited once in the 70s for an Expo …

    Cheers Hilary

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