Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Tuesday's Inspiration - Elizabeth Peters
I have been accused of having my characters operating in a vacuum and for me getting the setting right can be a problem. That's why I have many floor plans of homes and of areas, plus books that help me understand the different kinds of areas. Now I do know the area where I'm living though sometimes in writing stories using the Hudson River village, I change houses and businesses around.
Reading an essay by Elizabeth Peters really helped me hone in on how to put the characters in settings that drew the reader into that place and time.
"The more unusual or exotic the setting, the harder you must work to give it an appearance of authenticity." After reading this I began exploring the books and plans I mentioned because I sometimes write about places I've never been or places that I totally invent for fantasy stories. One of the tricks is to prepare the reader for the unusual setting is to show this by bits and pieces. Starting with the familiar and moving to the unfamiliar. Show the reasons why these are logical.
Hopefully by planning the setting of my stories in depth helps me bring the reader into the story. So even if you've never been to a place or if you're inventing a new one take the time to know what you're inventing. You'll have the reader shouting, "I feel like I've been there."