This week I tried to utilise setting for one aspect of my story. The more I tried to create setting, the more ambiguous the story was becoming. However, for the second section of the story, based in reality, the use of setting gave the characters depth, and helped to draw the reader, and writer, into the scene itself. My supervisor, at this point, gave me permission to compose Milly primarily from a real world perspective, which eventually leads into the fantasy world.
Writing setting from the real world is a lot easier than creating a new one, and ensures that setting is believable enough for the reader to be able to see what the author sees. It is extremely hard to begin a book/story from the fantastical point of view. Burroway (2007) suggests, ‘when you focus on offering us the particularity of place, time, and weather, you will also be able to manipulate the mood, reveal the character, and advance the action’ (p. 146). I have found this to be true. The use of the family home, from the yard to the house, the internal surrounds, to the occupants, reveals levels of backstory relevant to the over arching theme, that was becoming lost.
The use of setting allows the reader to tap into the 5 senses and to, ‘utilise their senses to a much deeper degree than relying on sight alone’ (Burroway 2007, p. 16). Kinross-Smith (1994) tells us that, ‘prose story telling is grounded in the way the writer sees human nature, and its exemplification in society’… ‘because this is the way we allow the words to fall, in telling it’ (p. 57-8).
Burroway, J 2007, Imaginative writing: elements of craft, Pearson, Florida.
Kinross-Smith, G 1994, Prose fiction, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.