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Settings in Your Novel That Work As Triggers

When choosing settings for your scenes, you want to think about the kinds of places that will allow the emotions, needs, dreams, and fears of your characters to come out. Certain places will trigger these things to come to the surface and will stir memories. Your character has a past, and even if she never visits any of the places in her past in your novel, other places can draw out feelings and memories. This happens to us all the time.

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Setting Your Characters in the Proper Setting

During this year of delving into the heart of your story, I’ve only touched a little on setting. I haven’t been ignoring the topic, although by now you may have been wondering about that. Setting is so important to your book, and all too often writers practically ignore it in their quest to unveil a great plot or take the reader on a character’s journey.

But stop and think for a moment about yourself and the world you live in. Each moment you’re alive, you are interacting with your setting. At times, where you are is inconsequential and unimportant to what is going on in your life at that moment. You could be in a coffee shop, at the top of a mountain, or waiting at the dentist’s office to get your teeth cleaned and it wouldn’t matter in respect to what you may be going through, feeling, thinking, or desiring at the time. Much of our lives we are in mundane places, doing mundane things.

But do readers want to read about that? Do you recall what I said months ago about books that portray ordinary people? I said ordinary people are boring—and so are mundane, boring settings. No one wants boring. Continue Reading…

The Secret to a Stress-Free Novel Journey

Since we’re entering the season of vacations and trip-taking, I thought I’d risk one more time up on my soapbox to bring you this important message. I know I’m a curmudgeon about planning out your novel in advance, but it’s one of the few things regarding writing I’m pretty adamant about. If you feel like listening to another lecture, go ahead and read my earlier post, but I’m going to paint a little analogy for you here about taking a trip—for writing your novel is a journey of sorts. And we have all probably had smooth-running trips as well as disastrous ones we’d rather forget (and wished we hadn’t gone on). Continue Reading…

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