Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Novelists: Don't Forget This Important Character

Who is this character?

Your setting.

We often view places, setting, scenery as static, unchanging locations, but when we stop to think about it, we know that's not true. Just compare photographs of your hometown today to those of fifty years ago. The changes will be obvious.

Settings may have personalities.

By turns, our hometown can feel friendly, hostile, vigorous, and tired.

In a social gathering, some guests might dub the atmosphere friendly, others intimidating.

Settings not only change over time, they change with the time of day. Our perception of them change with our moods and life experiences.

Give as much consideration to your settings as to the people you place in them. Don't stop at simple description. Give them unique character traits. Allow them to shift and develop with your protagonist and plot even as they influence both.

For readers of the BryonySeries, the Munsonville of the first book is not the Munsonville of the second and third books, although the village appears frozen in time. And as Melissa changes, so does her view of Munsonville, not always for the better.

Below is a link to adjectives that describe personalities. Which ones apply to your setting?

For instance, Melissa initially felt Munsonville was tedious and boring, while her younger brother Brian saw it as full of adventure. Their mother, one the other hand, liked the lack of stress and greater opportunities. Steve viewed it as friendly and affable.

Same village. Different viewpoints.

How about the setting in your novel?


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