Top and bottom professions of a setting can help determine the sort of place this is, and where your characters fall into the social structure. Some top occupations might be president, doctor, computer software designer, manager, head cheerleader, or parent. Knowing what would be the “dream job” or what occupation your characters hold in the highest esteem can help readers figure out what sort of setting you are offering. Conversely, there are the bottom jobs, the worst case scenarios. For the purpose for these notes, it is how the profession is viewed by the society of the setting. Low paying jobs are almost always in this category.
Available education is another important trait for your setting. Are most people in the setting of your story college graduates? Or is the setting in a place where education is difficult to come by or only available to certain people? How many people are literate? Knowing this will also speak to the values of your setting and to how your characters fit in with those values.
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: Who was your favorite teacher or professor, and why?