Where do Characters Live?
Has everyone here at NYUS already discovered a great blog—Writer Unboxed? If not, you might want to take a look. I revisited the site recently and found a fascinating discussion underway—the importance of place in a novel. Both the host and commentators were in agreement that setting can virtually become another character. We all know that, right?
One of the commentators, however, famed literary agent, Donald Maass who is a regular on the site, took that awareness one step further. He said it’s the protagonist’s description of, or attitude toward, place that causes a setting to come alive.
For example, if the character describes a boating trip as an idyllic return to nature, chances are good the reader will see it that way too—at least for as long as the scene lasts. Or if the main character goes camping and the mosquitoes practically carry him off, the reader well may itch in sympathy.
With so much riding on place, it’s not surprising writers think long and hard before deciding where their characters should live. I’m no exception and made a mental trip around the
as amateur sleuth Deva Dunne’s home. In Rooms To Die For, #4 in the Murders by
Design Series, Deva’s still enjoying Naples
even though the humidity continues to frizz her hair, and the sun hasn’t
stopped turning her freckles into polka dots.
She has a lot to enjoy in Florida . Her interior design business is thriving. So is her crime-busting relationship with
studly Lieutenant Victor Rossi. Naples
As I began the series, I think I was only subliminally conscious of the fact that Deva’s happiness with her surroundings, the gorgeous sunsets, the beach, the small town feel of Naples helped heal her psychic wounds and gave her the courage to rebuild her future.
Today, as I’m now aware, Deva’s attitude toward her new home has helped me turn her brushes with crime, even murder, into a fun-filled, light-hearted series.
Rooms To Die For: Amazon