Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Setting

On my eleventh birthday I greatly anticipated my acceptance letter to Hogwarts. I didn't get it (to which I thought, It's because I'm American, isn't it?!). I had done more than fall in love with the story and characters in Harry Potter. I had fallen in love with the setting as well. So much, that I wanted it to be real, and I was sure it was. There was no way that J.K. Rowling could have made up such a place! It was too thoroughly described to not be real.
I've come to realize that I suck at setting. But setting is important. Imagine Harry Potter with a weak setting. It wouldn't have done nearly as well--and forget about a theme park. The world our characters inhabit should be as vivid and real as them. Something else to add into my  list of improvements on writing.

But a trick I learned in creative writing today is to write the setting as if you're shooting a movie, and "pan" through the setting. Start out broad, and then move in through the setting and into the characters and the situation. In fact, if you look at a lot of scenes describing setting going this way, only now I realized how people used it.

Of course, now I want to go to the theme park in Florida to see Hogwarts. Because now it is real.

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