Monday, 22 April 2013

S is for Settings

A good setting is as much a character as the hero or villain - think the Enterprise or Pandora, District 12 or Forks. Creating a good setting is more than just description though, I think - it's also about how it makes the characters feel.

You wouldn't introduce a character into a story and not mention how he interacts with other people, so why treat the setting like that? Some writers anthropomorphise the settings to some extent - the house didn't want them there, or the open door and log fire welcomed them home. Others use settings to create an atmosphere to set the story against.

The other big challenge with settings is to introduce them without using paragraphs of description.

My challenge to myself today (and you're welcome to join in) is to take a setting which would traditionally be thought of in one way and turn it around to make it feel the opposite way, eg. make a dark wood with tall trees and narrow paths feel welcoming, or a child's bedroom seem threatening.

PS... if you didn't get the references, Enterprise is from Star Trek, Pandora is from the Avatar film, District 12 is from The Hunger Games and Forks is from Twilight.

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