Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Setting and Background in Fiction (Part 2 of 8)

"I had planned to set the novel in Venice because I've been there," she said, "but it seems that every fifth novelist sets stories there."

To which I answered, "So what?"

Just because hundreds of others have used New York City or Paris doesn't mean we can't feature those locations. We need to get the facts straight first. Beyond that, we invoke our special perceptions. If I wrote about Paris, I'd certainly mention the beautifully planted rows of plane trees (what we Americans call sycamores) and I'd certainly want to include Chartres Cathedral. My particular insight would make the location "mine" because of my voice and style.

Don't be afraid to use geographic settings
because many other writers use that locale.

1 comment:

  1. Very good advice. Sometimes I'm tempted to use a setting that I simply can't handle because I want it to be 'oh so unique' =P

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