Setting: Resulting Effects


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In storytelling, our number one job is to make readers care. We want to ensure that our fiction captivates them on many levels and that our characters seem like living, breathing people who continue to exist in readers’ minds long after the book closes. To create this level of realism, we must delve deep into our world and our characters so we can show who they are at every opportunity, drawing the reader in closer.

When it comes to characters, showing rather than telling is the most powerful means of providing insight into the personality of each member of a story’s cast, including the protagonist. Simply put, letting readers see for themselves who our characters are through their behavior is much more riveting than us explaining it through bloated chunks of information. A writer can use narrative to introduce a vengeful character, but it would be much more spellbinding to describe her actions as she traps a former abuser on his fishing boat, douses the decks in gasoline, and tosses on a flare. It is what a character does, thinks, and feels that readers find most compelling. The setting can play a vital role in drawing out new layers of our characters for readers to discover.



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