Choosing a theme

Now that you you’ve mapped out your route, try to nail down a theme. Give some thought to your narrative as a whole. Decide what to include and what you can safely leave out.

Your theme doesn’t have to be grandiose. We’d love to see a reflection of the individual’s alienation from postmodern society make it onto VoiceMap, but your theme should focus on what makes your perspective distinctive. How will a listener benefit from seeing a place through your eyes? We’ve had botanists writing about botanical gardens, for example, and people who grew up in neighbourhoods that were demolished during South Africa’s Apartheid era tell the story of how things used to be. If a particular landmark is famous but you feel no connection to it, leave it out. You don’t have to include anything.

Sometimes it helps to walk your route again, with a notepad or, better still, a voice recorder. Move quickly, and pay attention to your own thoughts. How do they progress? When do you feel most alive to the possibilities of the story you want to tell?

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