Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Scenery: You are here

The main difficulty that I find with setting a scene is deciding how much to describe. Too many details and the audience is lost. Too few and the audience does not even know where they are. When it comes to setting, I focus on keeping it simple.

I find that the mind of the reader is my ally in this endeavor. Draw a picture for them, and their imaginations will fill in the blank spaces. Also, if you keep the location somewhat ambiguous, they can see it happening in their own home town or somewhere close by. This imparts to the tale a reality that it would not otherwise have.

I like where I live. There are many geographical points of interest: the sloping hills, evergreen forests, lakes and streams all give it a certain character. But I am reluctant to describe it in great detail. Someone who has never seen it will not view it the same way as I do: home.

Also, when I write a story I like to explore the world. Now, since the location may be something I have only seen in a photograph, it behooves me to keep the description simple. In reality, wherever you go, there you are. The place may look different and feel different, but certain things will be the same.

People are very different, and yet there is that which makes us all human. It is this universal spirit, that brings us together. And that is what people are looking for when they read a book: a familiar scent which wafts across the great expanse, to fill the senses with the awesome wonder that is the world we live in.

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