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  • Writer's pictureClaire

Top 10 Cities to Write Your Novel

(Part 1)

Imagine yourself writing in a gorgeous city — where everywhere you look inspires a story, a scene, a narrative. This could be where you'll finally discover the story you were meant to write.

Sometimes, we just don't want a break. As writers, we need one. To escape, to explore, to write! Some days of real peace and quiet, a pause from our usual routine, typing away in a totally different city other than the one we have — can be crucial to our creativity.

As an author of 4 novels and a traveller who has journeyed extensively to 49 countries, let me share my top 10 cities to write. (All photos by me.)

10) Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower from another angle. Your novel or short story could benefit from a different perspective, too!

Who wouldn't fall in love in the City of Lights? Hemingway, Moliere, Voltaire, Balzac, Victor Hugo, Zola and Proust were all inspired by the beauty and exquisiteness of this city — and you can, too. I have written big swathes of my novels in bistros and cafés all over Paris, from the busiest ones in the heart of St. Germain to the slow, ultra-local, and trés French joints in Versailles, Puteaux and Garches. Just be sure to say bonjour and au revoir everytime you come and go!

9) Hue, Vietnam

A hidden corner in Vietnam. In Hue, Central Vietnam, you'll walk the paths of former Nguyen Kings, sample local cuisine, cruise along the Perfume River — and write your best story.

There's something about Vietnam that touches one's emotions. Perhaps it's the country's lush natural beauty, the warm, smiling Vietnamese, or simply just the superb local coffee. For us writers, maybe that's all we need. In the former capital of Hue, Central Vietnam's famed city with more than 300 dishes at your disposal, you'll find lots of quiet cafés and cool corners where you can reflect — and finally write the story you were meant to share to the world.

8) Batanes, Philippines

If this view doesn't inspire, we don't know what will! Batanes, you're a beauty!

There's something about being away that refreshes your imagination. Leave the routine behind and fly off to amazing Batanes at the northern tip of the Philippines, where you can have time on your own, and a spectacular view to boot. These jaw-dropping vistas along the hills are easily accessible, less than an hour's drive from the center village of Batan. In between, you can certainly work on your words in your Airbnb, local B&B or a quaint cafe in the middle of town.

7) Naxos, Greece

Pristine white houses, the azure blue of the Ionian sea, and a taste of Greek flavor can all come together to help you write that novel, short story, or memoir.

Sail away to an island in Greece! In my case, that would be Naxos, a less touristy Greek isle just an hour's flight away from Athens. Here, people have time for you: they will make jokes, smile, greet you kalimera (good morning) and offer you free dessert. Book yourself a small apartment in the Chora, or a smart boutique hotel on top of a hill and swim, sightsee, or savor the local octopi — either way, you can get lots of writing done.

6) Berlin, Germany

Often dubbed as the capital of cool, Berlin and its fabulous architecture, vibrant art scene, and sexy vibe can give you the edge you need in your writing

There's just something magnetic and well, intriguing about this German city. One of Europe's most historic, vibrant and creative cities, Berlin isn't lacking in breathtaking sites or thought-provoking spots to write. Try the neighborhoods Kreuzberg or Neukolln, wander the streets and see how locals do it: with flair, a bit of swagger, and loads of style. Let your words do the same.

Where will you write your novel? Feel free to share in the comments!

Interested in joining our writing retreat? Reserve your place here.

(Part 2 to be continued in my next post!)

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