Sodaro's Stories

April 21, 2015

Setting –What to include; what to leave out (A-Z blog)

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:04 pm
Tags: , , ,

This is a point of disagreement among writers and readers and as with everything I have written about the writing process, take what you can use and put aside the rest.

Some readers and writers LOVE setting description (same with character description). I tried to get through a book that had spent 4 pages describing a tree. Not a magic tree, not even an all that spectacular of a tree (I don’t really remember…it was 4 pages…about a tree). I know what trees are…I have one right outside.

Some people like this much detail. They like to check facts and pull out an atlas or google and trace the route the hero has taken and I LOVE those detail-oriented people and the authors who can write for them…I am not that kind of writer and it’s mostly because I am not that kind of reader.

Maybe it is because spatial knowledge is one of my lowest scores or maybe it is some kind of self-diagnosed ADD, but when I read or try to write that level of setting description, I lose interest very quickly…and if I have lost interest in the story, I find it really easy to put down the book or the pen.

I like Kansas City. I have it as the setting of the majority of my current and upcoming projects. So I talk about the Westport Area, the Plaza, Independence Events Center, Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadiums…I like to give people enough to picture the area, without them having a building by building description that could double as a travel guide. I like the plot and dialogue to push more than a setting, because if people have never been to Kansas City, they can picture their own city, and I am okay with that. This works for me. Find a level of setting description that works for you…I will be willing to be what you like to write is very similar (detail-level) to what you enjoy reading.

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