A Writer's Guide to Active Setting: How to Enhance Your Fiction with More Descriptive, Dynamic Settings
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Enhance Your Fiction with the Power of an Active Setting!
Setting is one of the most underutilized and misunderstood elements of the writing craft. And when writers do focus on setting, they often pull readers out of the narrative and jolt their attention from the action on the page.
A Writer's Guide to Active Setting will show you how to create vivid, detailed settings that bring your story to life. You'll learn how to deepen character development, anchor readers to a specific time and place, reveal backstory without slowing things down, elevate action sequences, and more.
Drawing upon examples from authors writing across a variety of genres, Mary Buckham will illustrate exactly how the proper use of setting can dramatically improve your story. You'll learn what's effective about each passage and how you can use those techniques to make your story shine.
"Takes an all too often overlooked technique, and elevates it to a next-level game changer for powerful fiction." --Cathy Yardley, author of Rock Your Plot
"A powerful combination of fresh insights, practical examples, and how-to advice on the often overlooked but critical element of setting...written in a quick-to-read and easy-to-understand style, and packed with useful application exercises." --Kelly L. Stone, author of Thinking Write: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind
"If you're a writer, then Mary Buckham's book is a must-have tool for your writer's toolkit. Creating settings that are rich and believable is not an easy task, but with this book, I found that each chapter gave me great tips that I could immediately implement in my manuscript." --Laurie G. Adams, author of Finding Atticus
character sees in a Setting can be more important than the Setting itself. Ignoring the powerful use of characterization and Setting decreases the subtext of your story and also decreases the immediacy a character feels in your story world. If your POV character simply walks through a Setting with nothing revealed except that the character is now at a store, on a street, or returning home, you are showing your readers that this Setting doesn’t matter that much to the story. So if it does matter,
paragraphs.] The arrangement was all out of proportion. Salander had stolen several billion kroner and bought herself an apartment with space for an entire court. But she only needed the three rooms she had furnished. The other eighteen rooms were empty. Blomkvist ended his tour in her office. There were no flowers anywhere. There were no paintings or even posters on the wall. There were no rugs or wall hangings. He could not see a single decorative bowl, candlestick, or even a knick-knack that
sky and the water glowed the pale gray of a worn-out dime. —Ilona Andrews, Bayou Moon Only two sentences, but the reader feels the threat of the location and the feel of the day. Reinforcing Story Themes Setting and how the character interacts with it are great ways to reinforce the themes in your story. By using contrasting reactions between characters and the Setting, and contrasting emotions, awkwardness, or confidence in a character’s interaction with a Setting, you can highlight a
above is a lighter approach to showing the character via the Setting and would be appropriate to an amateur sleuth mystery, a chick-lit romance, or a lighter YA or Middle Grade novel. Now let’s see what it would look like if you wanted to make the Setting act in opposition to the character in a stronger way for a darker mystery, suspense, or thriller story, while keeping the focus on the action. Astrid slipped into the dark shadows of the living room, straining to move quietly and quickly in the
are being given to paint a stronger Setting image. Additional Setting Pitfalls In fiction, we want to do as much as we can with as little as we can. This means not bombarding the reader with every bit of detail collected from research. That information is for the writer to use sparingly. NOTE: Too much information is an especially dangerous pitfall for historical, steampunk, and fantasy and science fiction writers. With regards to Setting details, make sure what a reader focuses on matters in