Thursday, 14 July 2011

Author Spotlight - Nancy Kay talks about the importance of "settings" in her novel

Previously, I touched on the characters in Deadly Reflection. Today I'm going to explore the setting. Writers in general tend to fall in love with describing scenes within their stories. The trick is to interweave these descriptions so the reader is plopped right down into the setting and doesn't know how they got there.

Where I live, a trip to the store can be a journey through picturesque vineyards or cresting a ridge to find unbelievable sunsets bouncing off an expanse of lake that stretches as far as the eye can see. We're told to write what we know. The same holds true for writing what you see.

In my mind, true romance is all about the setting, the ambiance. I want readers to mentally sample the earthy taste of a great red wine combined with melt in your mouth chocolate. Because the high derived when a handsome man and a gorgeous woman experience their first intimate encounter before a blazing fire, all while partaking of that wine and chocolate, is a setting guaranteed to make a reader feel the burn. And I don't mean from the crackling fire!

Coming in from a frosty day and encountering the mouth-watering scent of goodies baking says something about the character that made those to die for cookies. It sets the stage, tells a tale, and often triggers long-forgotten memories pertinent to the story. I think we call this introducing back-story, but in such a way the emotion is not a written description. The emotions, the pieces that make up the current story are experienced.

Set the stage within your minds eye, and then skillfully expose the beauty to your readers. The old adage 'show don't tell' at its finest!

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