Sunday, 5 January 2014

Writing - Stories and settings

The feedback from readers is invaluable in so many ways. I had a conversation this morning which was centred around setting. It was interesting and reinforced the idea that it is best to write from where you're at.

Most significantly successful authors have written about places they are familiar with or that they've at least visited. The people I have immense respect for are the SF writers where that option doesn't exist in the physical world. However, having said that, if you set your SF novel on this planet then you can use a familiar setting. In Cessation I used my local area which has been identified by a reader. In short your acquired knowledge is a gold mine of experiences. The gratifying factor was that my reader could identify the places I was writing about which led to a discussion around types of imagination. 
In short some people will have their imaginations triggered by the written word taking them to the places that the writer is trying to have them see, and others are incapable of that level of imagining. As I said yesterday in the development of minor characters, it is all a case of balance. If you give too much description then you steal the need to use imagination and probably the interest in your work, at the same time fall short on the description and the readers imagination hasn't enough to be effective in creating the story in their heads. Get the balance wrong and your story may fail.
In works of narrative (especially fictional), the literary element setting includes the historical moment in time and geographic location in which a story takes place, and helps initiate the main backdrop and mood for a story. Setting has been referred to as story world or milieu to include a context (especially society) beyond the immediate surroundings of the story. Elements of setting may include culturehistorical periodgeography, and hour. Along with the plotcharactertheme, and style, setting is considered one of the fundamental components of fiction.

God Bless