Friday, September 4, 2009

What is Your Favorite Type of Book Setting?

Some people love the ocean; others prefer lakes or rivers. Some people would kill to live in smalltown USA and others gladly leave their entire family behind to move to the Big City.

Some readers love stories about the wild west and cowboys; others prefer books that take place in sophisticated cities, with fancy restaurants, designer clothes, and big bucks being tossed around.

Is the setting in your favorite book similar to the one in which you live? Or is it the polar-opposite? As a writer, do you use settings you know or are you constantly researching (and visiting) new locales for your stories and novels?

Sometimes, setting actually becomes a character, taking on a life of its own and foreshadowing events. It certainly sets the mood or tone of a story--everyone knows was a dark and gloomy night... Okay, so that one's overdone. But you get my point, don't you?

Personally, I hate it when the setting is overdone and the author leaves nothing to my imagination or personal preference. Yes, I'd like to have a rough idea of what the room looks like. But don't point out each piece of furniture in excruciating detail and then inform me of the precise locations of the five paintings in the room with respect to the three windows and two doors. Tell me the sky is blue and dotted with clouds and that the tree leaves are fluttering in the breeze. But don't describe the shapes of the clouds and list the fourteen different species of tress in the front yard. Or specify the precise shade of blue - I can handle that one myself.

What are your favorite, and least favorite, things about settings? Have any good ideas or tips? Please share!

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