One writerly question, one answer, one minute to read!
Here we go…How important is the setting of a novel?
Nothing evokes the readers imagination than picturing not just what your characters are doing and saying, but where they are. Characters floating in a bland background is just boring! We want to know where they are and what they’re seeing and feeling. It all helps to create a world that is unique to your characters and therefore ground the reader somewhere that we hope they want to stay.
Setting can also be used to evoke or mirror feelings (a calm sea to show a sense of serenity and peace), or to increase tension (thunderstorm anyone?) and even to provide a juxtaposition to the action of the novel (a character running through a quiet and peaceful poppy field while being chased by a murderer). Setting is all important, especially if, like me, you tend to write series fiction, so you want to create somewhere readers want to return to.
Basically, setting is as important as dialogue, pacing etc. so don’t just throw your characters into any old place! Take some time and think about where suits your story.
If anyone else has tips to share, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section!