Joints, or undiscovered places, can boost your creativity when creating a setting that feels like a character. Tunnels under the city, a hidden room behind a bookcase, and a small access port on a spaceship are all possible examples of undiscovered places. Stories where someone starts at a new school, explores a new land, or travels to another dimension all offer opportunities for settings that feel like a character. Those are the kind of setting-characters that the main character and the reader can become emotionally invested in getting to know.
Junk, or trash, might be part of your setting. How clean or dirty a place is can affect the characters, as can how trash removal is handled. The home of a hoarder will look and feel a certain way, and it will reveal things about the character(s) living there. Someone obsessed with tidiness will keep a clean home, an immaculate setting. If the garbage collectors go on strike, how will the tidy character deal with this setting-affecting situation? On a larger scale, how does a country deal with trash? Just as knowing how a traditional character handles junk (litters, tosses in trash, creates artwork), knowing this about your setting can make it feel more like a character.
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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Question of the day: A Jedi wants to know: Who is your favorite Star Wars character?