The First Signs of WinterAs some of you may know, I’ve recently moved from Florida to Boise, Idaho. I looked forward to being with my family, and it has been wonderful being near beloved children, nieces and grandchildren. What I wasn’t looking forward to was enduring a winter.
Yesterday was the first real rainy day since we arrived in Boise in July. It felt quite cozy inside the house while cold rain spread across the valley. When I went outside to do errands, I looked up at the foothills and there, at the highest peaks, was snow. Guess what! It was beautiful.This got me to thinking about the importance of setting in a book. Where we place our characters and their reactions to it are tremendous indicators of character--things we can build on.
I write fantasy for children and I love creating a challenging world for them. In one of my stories, the hero is confronted by a huge, hairy spider, guarding the cave of the mystical Man of the Mountain. Because I, myself, freak over spiders, it was difficult to write the scene where the spider entraps the hero’s companion and how the hero must save him. But I used the setting to bring out the hero’s character and his growth. (Other scenes were easier! LOL)As the writer, we need to make a character’s response to a setting be true to his/her own experiences. For instance, in a romance, if a woman grew up in the crowded city and has always wanted to live in the country, where she could feel freer, a HEA ending, showing her on a ranch with the man she loves has tremendous impact on the reader. Not only is the heroine satisfied by the romance but she is in a setting where she can thrive. I realize I’ve made this overly simple, but I’m sure you get my point.
Have there been particular books you’ve loved because of their settings and the impact on the characters?