Wednesday, 17 August 2011

When The World Is Grey....




... Readers go away!

What makes a world real to you? Is it the setting? How the characters react to the setting? Or is it something else?

There are lots of tips out there for a memorable world, but today I want to talk about mixing it up a bit. How about taking the style of writing and the actual setting and mix-matching? What do I mean by that, you ask?

For example, a real world setting described through the eyes of a sci-fi writer. How would he describe a McDonalds? A car? The metallic gleam of a modern kitchen counter?



What about a fantasy setting as seen through the eyes of a horror writer? Maybe he would describe how shadows fall deeply. Or how the trees stretch forward to the sky like a prisoner reaching through cell bars at a passing warden, begging for mercy. Would the sunset be bloody and ominous or a muddle of colors, thrown together haphazardly?


How are your settings coming along? What's the best setting advice you've ever heard?
Happy Wednesday!
XOXO
Bethany

15 comments:

The Golden Eagle said...

For me, it's the setting that makes a world real. Though if the characters interact and use things within the setting realistically, then that will further cement my own sense of what it's like.

I like the idea of mixing things up. :) It sounds like a great way to surprise the reader, in a good way.

L.G.Smith said...

Love that cartoon. I'm afraid I'm a character first girl. Then plot. Setting always comes last to me for some reason. It's what I get the biggest complaints about in my writing. Working on it.

j. littlejohn said...

i feel like character and plot is the same thing... don't the nature of the characters determine the plot?

Carrie Butler said...

The best advice I've heard is to engage as many senses as possible :)

Kelley said...

The best advice I've heard of with setting is to go one way or the other. If it's important, make it as important as character. If it's not, be detailed enough that the reader can do the work and make the setting up for themselves.

Lisa Gail Green said...

World has always been my biggest challenge. I'm very character and plot driven. But when I started thinking of it through the eyes of my character it became much easier. What do they notice? Just like you said!

Lauren W. said...

Setting is so tricky because you don't want to seem cliche and you don't want to make it stand out so much that it takes away from the movement of the story. I've heard that it's more about what your character notices and doesn't notice. You have to try to be in the head of the MC and think about what they would notice and how do they view their world.

Laila Knight said...

Perspective is everything. I've recently started having a critique partner read my finished manuscript. She writes thrillers, so she needed a more detailed explanation of my world. This has really helped me to revamp my book to attract a broader audience. Looking at pictures really helps me with setting. :)

Phil Hall said...

The best setting advice I ever heard was "believe it yourself." If you can describe something to the point you believe it's real--as if you've really been there--you've done it pretty darn well. When you close your eyes and imagine the grand mountains of your fantasy world, can you pick out the colors in them if handed a big box of crayons? Do you know how cold the wind is? How high is the sun, and does it burn too hot for snow? If you can live in your setting, you can describe it. But first, you have to believe it yourself.

Talli Roland said...

The best advice I ever heard was pick one or two key details, and let your readers fill in the rest. Don't overload.

Jemi Fraser said...

LOVE Chewie in the kitchen!!! I'm getting better at weaving in the setting so I don't have to stop and describe it! :)

Mark Noce said...

Hilarious pics! With regards to settings and reality the people(characters) to me are what make things come alive so to speak. Great, quirky blog:)

Missed Periods said...

I like getting to know characters by how they describe the setting.

Angela Ackerman said...

For me, I try to filter my setting through the lens of emotion. So, I think about what I can do to the setting to make it as uncomfortable as possible for the character and her goals. This adds tension to the scene. :)

Sangu said...

Settings can make or break a fictional world. Some of my favourite books, like anything by Daphne du Maurier for example, make a whole character out of a setting: they make their locations a living, breathing place. That's always amazing.

Just saw your post about your Internet failing - gah I hate it when that happens! Hope you're up and running again soon.