Also in the cast…

heartwarming christmas 3dI have been sitting here–for too long, I must admit–trying to think of which character to introduce. Now that I’ve waited until periously close to time for a conference call with an editor and, following that, a football game my grandson’s playing in, I think I know who I want you to meet.

Stringtown-Proper_Liz-FlahertyReaders, meet Setting. In my books, Setting is always pretty much the same. It might be Rural, which means having cornfields all around, back roads dotted twice a day with yellow school buses, and a little church on the corner. Or, if I’m feeling adventurous, it’s Small Town, with from none to four stoplights, a supermarket where they carry your groceries out for you, and station that will call you instead of the police if you forget to pay for your gas.

I don’t vary from these two Settings because these are the ones I love and am at home in. The reason I consider Setting a character is that it has so much importance. It’s been instrumental in making the protagonists and their story into what they are.

I get a little grief now and then, because there are those who feel my Settings aren’t realistic. I write about good cops, good clergy, and loving moms and dads more than I do the other sides of same coins. The truth is that I know all about those other sides, but I choose not to write about them. I’m fairly certain if I chose the Big City as my Setting, I would still have more good guys than bad. I’ve never considered Setting to be either a viable villain or hero, but it certainly does have its place in the cast of characters.


Also in the cast… — 6 Comments

  1. In a really great story the setting often does feel like one of the characters. This is an area I feel I need to strengthen, particularly since I’m no longer setting stories in the Midwest town where I lived most of my life.

    • It’s kind of a fun challenge, though, isn’t it, Reese? I go south in my writing every now (and hope the writing itself DOESN’T go sound LOL) and I hope I can capture some of what is so great about it.

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