Setting can be as shallow as the seasonal stream along the road or as bottomless as an ocean chasm.
I’ve talked about setting before in another way and love how it was described at a KDL Conference I attended a year ago. These ideas build upon each other like a blocks. Master each level through your revisions and take the reader on a journey.
Hierarchy of overall interestingness of setting:
- Static Setting is non interactive like a two dimensional image. We see it but do little with it. Like talking heads in a location that doesn’t really matter.
- Activated Setting is interactive for the character and reader, three dimensional in senses and activity. The story is affected by the place through the weather or travel or some other way the characters respond to what’s around them.
- Activated Setting in Time shows the reader a before and after setting and the change that has impacted the story, it becomes four dimensional.
- Activated Setting Through Time shows the story before, becoming, after and beyond as the characters inhabit, remember, and reflect on the world around them.
Whew, that was intense. And shouldn’t it be? Don’t you want to be reading that last story? But not always. Depending on the goal of your story and your space limitations you may it be able to hit that deep level and you may not want to.
But being aware of the levels is essintial. Be conscious of your story’s needs.
If you liked this post or learned something please buy me a coffee.