Ask Elnora--About Setting?? Third Friday Writing--Lenora Worth
It's that time again, bloggerville! Time for Third Friday Writing! Elnora loves the third Friday of each month since we get to talk about--what else--writing! Today's subject is setting. It was a dark and stormy night--in New Orleans maybe? Or what about New York City? Or how about it was raining cats and dogs in Dodge City? Okay, I've got it. It's raining men in Winslow, Arizona. But maybe it doesn't really rain there all that much? Setting is as important to a story as plot and character. When we write a book, we have to decide who, what, when, where, why?? Did I leave anything out? I always add how, too. Just in case. The where is all about setting. We don't want to wrie a whimsical story about flowers with a dark, dead forest kind of setting. Unless of course there is only one flower growing in that dark forest and the prince has to pluck it to save the princess and he knows if he sets foot in that forest, dire things will happen to him. See how the forest becomes part of the setting. I love to use setting like a character. For example, my August release "The Diamond Secret" is set in New Orleans. So it's all about the vibe of this unique place--a saxophone player down the street, the sound of the streetcar rolling by, the smell of the river--part decay and dampness and part fishy and fresh. Or the hiss of a cup of coffee being pulled at the Cafe du Monde and the clop, clop, clop of a horse drawn carriage. New Orleans lends itself to sights, sounds, smells and definitely taste and touch. Setting allows us to build our own world within the world we already know. When we describe a room, a home, a yard, a neighborhood or a town, we want the reader to stroll along with us and see what we see. I love a lush, interesting setting. If the mood of the story is dark, I make sure the setting is a bit dark and menacing. If the mood is lighthearted, I make sure there is a hometown cafe where everyone gathers and that the whole town is bursting with greenery and pretty places. If I'm writing a suspense I try to make sure even the trees are creepy and dangerous. If my setting is near a big body of water, I use that to my advantage even when I'm giving my characters a narrative, as in--her heart filled with a joy as vast and deep as the bay. Setting can add a richness to our stories and give our readers a true journey into a new world. So let's discuss setting. What's your favorite kind of setting?