Friday, October 27, 2006

WHERE THE STORIES HAPPEN



I'm always curious when I read a book about where the book was written. If the setting of the book is Winterish, with characters frolicking through snow, I often imagine the author sitting by the fireplace. Maybe there is a steaming cup of hot chocolate on the small table beside her. A notebook rests on her knee as her stockinged foot rests on a victorian chair. Her hand cradles her favorite pen as sleep cradles the rest of her family and the house and neighborhood sleeps. For her inspiration maybe she watches flecks of white dust the windows, mesmerizing her as she creates a fictional world which will touch and entertain readers. Maybe she smiles at the snowflakes who've danced their way down to glimpse through the window into the warm house as a novel whose characters will outlive their creator come to life on the page.

Same thing if the setting of a book is in the city. Makes me want to go visit that place and eat the food mentioned in the book.

Just in case you happen by one of my books in the store in the future and wonder where the stories happened, here is a glimpse into the life of one author. Ingore my messy desk now because there is chaos in every corner of my house. I usually like things to be more orderly but hey....sometimes life happens. My house may not be clean but my family knows they're loved.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Please leave a comment letting me know what your favorite setting in a book and why. Or if you'd love to see a particular setting in a book and haven't or haven't lately.

Don't be shy! Talk away!

Squirrel

7 comments:

Cheryl Shaw said...

Favorite setting...you know, there is no specific one, but ones that are well drawn by the authors. Susan May Warren makes me want to see Alaska, upper Minesota and Russia. None of those are places on my 'great vacations' list, but she makes them come alive. Catherine Palmer made Africa come alive. Shirlee McCoy made me want to go to Thailand (I hope that is right, been awhile since I read it).

The thread here, that I have tried to apply to my own writing, is embracing what you know and exploiting it with all five senses. And, these stories were compelling and intricatly tied to the setting. Alot of stuff has nice little towns for the setting, but you would have to do little more than find and replace the name to make it a different town.

Any setting, well developed, well intigrated into the plot, would interest me. Give me a reason why that story is in that location.

Whew! Long winded tonight.
Cheryl

Cheryl Shaw said...

Forgot to add...I'm tired of Colorado, Montana and Texas. Everything I have read lately seems to be set in those states. Give me more New England. Maine. There is a reason thousands of tourists flock here each year! :)

Hope Chastain said...

Thanks for sharing your e-space with us! Your computer looks about like mine, except for the sticky things! Mine mostly has stuff sticking out of it and making it hard to get to the keyboard! (In fact, that inspired a work in progress, but that's another story.)

I love just about every setting... small towns, big cities, the country... The important thing to me is whether the author gives us an adequate sense of place...

I'm looking forward to finding out more about where your book is set!

Kaye Dacus said...

I know it's a movie, but it's got one of the best settings ever: STEEL MAGNOLIAS. Being a Louisiana native, whenever I start feeling homesick, I can put that movie in, see the ancient oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, hear the cicadas in the background, and it transports me. That setting is one of the main inspirations for the fictional city I started developing about fifteen years ago--Bonneterre, Louisiana--which is the setting for most of my conteporary-set stories. And the best part of it is that even though they gave it a fictional name in the film, it was filmed on location in Natchitoches, Louisiana--a place I've visited several times!

Kaye Dacus said...

Oh, and I forgot to add--my composing space can be pretty much anywhere, as long as I have writing utensils or a computer. Best place where most of it occurs, though, is sitting in bed late at night with my laptop computer.

I'm like you, I cannot divorce the image of the author composing the work from the final product. Although in my own experience, I'm usually writing winter scenes in the 100+ degree heat of summer and summer scenes when snow is flying. Wishful thinking maybe?

Robin Caroll said...

LOL...to me, setting is EVERYTHING. But like you, I wonder about the author's habitat when they wrote it.

ScrollSquirrel said...

Thanks for the thought-provoking comments y'all!

Squirl