So I usually take care of these miscellany on Monday, but I totally undid my system this week because of my jaunt to Amsterdam, so I have to take care of some business before moving on to my usual Thursday post.
ROW80 here I come. By next Wednesday I will have the first completed draft of this WIP. Cross my heart. I’d cross my fingers too, but I need them to type.
Now, what in the heck have I learned about writing novels that I haven’t already shared? HA! This series could continue forever on this blog because I’ve learned so much and I continue to learn daily, hourly, each minute. . . Okay, that’s enough.
I’ve learned how important setting is to the tone, the character development, the plot, the whole darned story. I don’t mean you have to write pages of “description,” and make the reader plod through that to get to the story. I mean you have to carefully choose the place where the action happens, where the people live and interact. You have to let the reader see the characters interact with the settings they inhabit.
So first, nailing the setting without slowing the pace.
Let’s say you are writing a story about a girl who is very privileged and then suddenly has almost nothing. That would be my second book, The Princess of Las Pulgas. Sorry, I know this is kind of a shameless plug, but it’s a story I know pretty well and in which setting plays an important role.
Here’s something about Channing. The rich side of town. I needed to make this town especially attractive because when my MC leaves, I wanted it to be wrenching. But how much description did I need? Here’s one bit about her home and another about her high school.
I point toward the two-story house across the street, home for as long as I can remember. The wide path winds to the main entrance, and the leaded glass panels in the door glow from the entry lights Mom leaves on until we’re all home. Inside, the vaulted ceilings cast soft shadows in the living room and at the back, I see someone, probably Mom, in the kitchen.