Sunday, October 31, 2010

Evolution of a Novel Series ~ Setting

Not long ago my fabulous editor, Barbara Scott, shared with me how the setting of a novel, a location such as a manor house, home, etc. can be a character in your novel. How so? It is the touch point for several elements.

Time: Seasons. Day or night. Month or year in scene.
Place: A fictional or real town, city, village, or dwelling. Showing a scene inside or outside.
Mood: Brings forth the atmosphere of the scene and setting. Is the setting a dark place? Is it a cheerful place? It could be a drafty old house, or a warm one with hearth fires and heavy quilts on the beds.

Your storyline will need a setting that reflects all it encompasses.

Here are a few links I've used to help me narrow down a setting. Obviously, in the Daughters of the Potomac Series, the setting is along the Potomac River in the late 18th century. The books are also set in England, in the Hope Valley. I chose both settings for a purpose. They reflect the storyline.

If you are contemplating where to set your novel, try these links.

Pictures of England is a wonderful website showcasing towns, villages, counties, and attractions in England.

America in Pictures:

Discover USA Places: Click on cities on the map and get information.

Castles of Britain:
Castles of America by state:


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

Thanks for the links. I've read books where the setting added to the tension and enhanced the plot.

Susan :)

Bonnie Toews said...

Another great article, Rita. Vladimir Nabakov taught that setting can also be another "character" in a novel because of its influence on the mood and shaping of the story. I found his lectures on literary writing fascinating.

Rita Gerlach said...

Do you have a link to Nabokov's articles?

Barb Scott, my editor at Abingdon, shared with me about setting being a character in a novel. I'm hoping to achieve this with the Daughters of the Potomac Series. Not only is the river and the plantation of River Run essential to the unfolding of the story, but parts of the book take place in England in a area of Derbyshire called 'The Hope Valley'.