This week we're going to talk about setting, one of my favorite things to explore in stories. Setting is so important. Written well, it can become another character. It carries and continues a story, grounds a scene, and provides history as well. It can foreshadow, deepen themes, and even create movement.
I was thinking about this a few weeks ago when I went to visit my parents' house. When I first moved back in January, I packed up my room at my parents' house "unseen" items first--the clothes in my drawers and closet, the boxes under my bed, the supplies from my desk, etc. Because my apartment is fully furnished, I couldn't take any furniture. We loaded up my car and part of my mom's, drove up here, and moved me in less than two hours.
When I returned to their house the next weekend for the rest of my stuff, I walked into my room and everything looked. . . almost normal. If I looked in the closet or in the dresser, I noticed the emptiness. But from outward appearances, it was like I still lived there.
Then I packed my books.
The next time I walked into my room, it was empty.
The furniture was still there, along with a few odds and ends I either didn't want to take or chose to leave for a specific reason. But it's as if the life left the room. Each time I visit it feels less and less like mine. Though I have a connection to it still, that link fades more as time passes.
For every setting, something brings life. Sometimes you don't know what it is until it is missing. It's different for each place, for each character, for each scene. For my room, it was the books. For my novel, it's a combination of the actual location, a physical place in that location, and the repeated appearance of a certain color.
What brings life to the setting in your novel?
In your house?
See y'all Wednesday!
3 hours ago