Jul 19 2009

setting thoughts

Published by at 3:34 pm under blwio,conventions,set and setting,Writing

Fourth Street Fantasy Convention was great this year (and promises to be awesome next year, add it to your reminders now!), and though I didn’t get to attend all the panels I got a lot of tasty thoughts and ideas from those I did attend.

One idea might have come from either a panel or one of the good discussions that happened throughout the weekend. I was reminded of the importance of setting in science fiction and fantasy stories. This, coupled with Ella’s sound critique, have caused me to revisit and refine where and when in space and time my novel exists. I spent much of my first draft slogging out what and who, and I’m quite fine with having delayed further development until now. On the other hand, I think not working out those when and where details now will make extra work for me in later drafts, and I do so try to avoid extra work where I can. (Extra work isn’t the same as more work, which I hardly ever avoid, so wipe those smirks off, smartarses!)

Someone at the con mentioned that in a fantasy work, the setting not only affects the characters and the plot, but in many ways is developed and acts like a character in its own right, in terms of its effects. I think this holds true for many sf settings as well; the same characters and basic plot will very likely turn out differently if I drop the characters into 1950s-style space opera instead of hyper-urban New Calcutta fifty years from now.

For those reading interested in cool discussion, I’ll start off with this question: What are your experiences where social, temporal, geographical, cultural, or other contexts significantly affected a particular event or creation? I’m finding for this novel, so far, that the cultural and ethnic heritages of the characters and the location in space-and-timeline of various events heavily affect the development of characterization and plot points.

One response so far

One Response to “setting thoughts”

  1. Holly Elioton 20 Jul 2009 at 8:21 am

    Reesa –

    Great web site! Wish I had more time to peruse it, but right now my need is to communicate quickly. Nate had some trouble booking tickets because my bank noticed “suspicious activity”. What I need from him are the travel dates for all of the travel he, you and Dylan are doing, so I can turn the credit card back on.

    I did get some of travel documents, and I have a related question: Howcum you guys are flying to Philadelphia instead of Pittsburgh? When I told Nate I’d take him to the airport, I meant Pittsburgh, not Philly….. that’s clear across the state.

    Please get back to me ASAP. I’m writing because I don’t think his phone is working, and he hasn’t answered my e-mail. Last time we talked it was on the phone of some friend of his.

    Can you help me get through to him?

    love, Holly