Tag Archive - setting

Connecting Your Characters to Settings in Your Novel

We’ve been looking at settings in your novel: the overall milieu or locale that your story takes place in, as well and the various locations your scenes are set in. I’ve encouraged you to take the time to come up with fresh, significant settings instead of defaulting to the easiest and first location types that come to mind, such as restaurants and coffee shops.

We spend a lot of our time at work and home, and occasionally at those restaurants and coffee shops, but that is ordinary life. And while we want to show our characters in their ordinary lives (at least sometimes), readers don’t want “boring.” Continue Reading…

Showing Settings through the Eyes of Your Characters

“It is impossible to powerfully capture a place via objective description—at least to capture it in a way that readers will not skim. Only through the eyes and heart of a character does place come truly alive.” (Donald Maass, The Fire in Fiction)

You may not have thought about setting in this way, but it’s all about the POV character. Every person reacts differently to a specific setting. If you and a group of your friends were transported to someplace you’d never been, you would each notice, like, dislike, and be curious about different things.

We’ve been looking at the seventh pillar of novel construction: setting with a purpose. Creating evocative, purposeful, and creative settings in your novel will help make your novel richer and transport the reader to your world with more ease. Continue Reading…

How Settings and Locale Shape Us and the Characters We Create

If you think settings in a novel are inconsequential, think again.

Consider for a moment how locale has shaped you. Where did you grow up? What memories do you have from when you were a kid and cruised around your neighborhood?

I can picture just about every house for miles around my childhood suburban LA neighborhood because I rode my bike all the time, up and down the hills of Sherman Oaks, CA, south of “The Boulevard,” as it was called. I have fond memories of the local park with its huge community pool, where I swam on hot summer days. I can smell the salty air mixed with coconut oil at Santa Monica beach, and see the sweltering heat waves coming up off the hot parking lot, and hear the squawking of seagulls fighting over fish guts on the smelly pier. I can taste the chewy, hot, greasy fried clams and can hear the music wafting from the carousel and feel my sticky swimsuit full of sand, making me itchy in the backseat of our big old car as we drove the freeways home, sleepy after a long day at the beach. Continue Reading…

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