You might’ve heard that setting can be a character in your story. But did you know that setting can be as crucial to your story as your character? Location matters. Imagine if The Shiningtook place in a quaint bed and breakfast with an uplifting soundtrack? Or if the house Noah lovingly built for Allie in The Notebook turned out to be haunted like the mansion in The Haunting of Hill House?
The way you stage the setting in your story deepens the experience for both the character and the reader. Whether you’re being blatant or subtle, dropping heavy detail or sprinkling light clues, how you present a place tells readers how to feel about it.
We tend to form impressions of people the first time we meet them—whether we mean to or not. We do the same with places. The first time a new setting is introduced, the reader will form a lasting impression. That’s the image they’ll pull up on their mental movie screen every time that location makes an appearance. Let’s make sure they’re seeing what you want them to see and feeling what you want them to feel.
In BRING YOUR BOOK TO LIFE PART I, we talked about character descriptions. If you missed that post, you can find it here: Characters Are People Too.
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