A setting that is a character has to be different in some way. It absolutely must matter to the main character or characters. It must be vital to the story. If the main character can achieve the same outcome in any place, the setting is not important. So, if you want to make a setting that is a character, there has to be a reason that the main character is here. There must be something different about this location, something that nowhere else in the universe can offer, and that something must help (or hinder) the main character in regard to the main story goal.
The reader has to care that the story is taking place here, at this place and at this time. If it seems like the same characters could be picked up, given a costume change, and dropped into another setting and the story would still work– that setting is not a character.
Figure out what is important about your setting, about this place and time, and then give the reader and your main characters a reason to care deeply about it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson in preparing to write settings that feel like characters – my A to Z Challenge theme for 2015. If you long to discover more in-depth details on this topic, I have a .99 cents (US currency) ebook available on Amazon and Smashwords.
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