Setting: Resulting Effects

Reinforcing Emotion

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It's important to build empathy links between the reader and characters as much as possible. Adding an emotional connection between the character and the setting is one powerful way to do this. We like to call this adding an emotional value to the setting—basically, making the setting personal to the character in some way, giving it a special meaning that ties right into the POV character and her emotions, and occasionally, also representing something meaningful to other members of the story's cast.

This emotional value can come in many forms. The setting might represent something good like an achievement, a place of safety, or even a tie to a special person in her life who has always supported and loved her. This will encourage a range of “feel good” feelings when your character may need them most.

Another option is to use the setting to shine a light on the very thing she wants most, reinforcing her motivation. Through the use of symbols that act as emotional triggers, you can remind the POV character of what is missing from her life, and what she's yearning for. This can help her crystallize in her mind what her goal should be, and give her the shot in the arm to form a plan and chase it.


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