Thursday, June 4, 2009
SETTINGS: SIMPLY SCENIC OR SPECIALLY SIGNIFICANT? (No.2 post - Contemporary) For No. 1 Post - Historical - see below at The Pirate And The Puritan
Ah, the days are long past when a writer could simply include a scenery description because it is pleasant or pretty. Now it must relate to the story, or the characters, or preferably to both. In 2009 the reader just doesn't have the time to read anything not relevant to the story.
Personally I'm an old-fashioned reader/writer and enjoy such descriptions - if they aren't boring. BUT to be published in the modern era every word we use must carry the book forward. So, what have I done in my contemporary Blueprint For Love?
No research, for one. Research which would be vitally necessary in a historical is not necessary, so that's a relief! Although the area described in Blueprint, Northern Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, is fictional, the only reason is to give myself a certain freedom with street names, beachside suburbs, and the importance of those localities to the plot. For instance, the Palm Garden which features so largely is not a real place - and I did have to research palm specimens! But it is vital and central to the story, as the pivot point over which the heroine and hero clash. And boy, do they clash! He wants to uproot the lot, she wants it left alone.
The point is, I am familiar with the Sunshine Coast area of Queensland and can write about it easily, without worrying that the background might be incorrect in any way. I'm in my sixties now and since I was a small child, after WWII, my family took their annual camping holiday in the area. I loved, still love, the beaches, loved the sea and surf, the rivers and hinterland. Though it's much more upmarket nowadays, and the coastline has taken a recent storm battering, it's still basically the same place I knew when I was growing up. I am quite confident writing about it because I know my facts are right. Certainly the telling of the story comes easier when one is familiar with the 'backdrop', so to speak. I can describe where the hero/heroine are at any one time because I've been in a similar place myself.
Write what you know, is the advice to authors. For the authors of contemporaries, it's certainly a plus to do just that. Oh, and Blueprint is rated as Sophisticated at Classic Romance Revival, which means consenting love scenes between h and h that fall naturally within the plot line and aren't erotica.
Guests - don't forget I have two blogs posted for the CRR carnival. Please comment also on the next one, "How I write my backgrounds - " re my historical The Pirate And The Puritan. Sorry to confuse the issue! Should have put it all together!