My main learning opportunity for May was a class on setting I took through Savvy Authors. It was most definitely a worthwhile class - as you'll see below :)
From Setting As Character class at Savvy Authors (instructor was Devon Ellington - recommended):
- Overuse of dialect can pull the reader from the story - but so can underuse of it.
- In general, one scene does not include a change of location, timeframe, or character interruption
- Combining several scenes into one can heighten tension.
- It's best to sprinkle setting in, rather than dumping.
- Emotional geography (created by the history and energy of the lives of the people there) can and should have a big impact on setting.
- The best way to describe a scene with all five senses is to be hypersensitive to setting in "the real world."
- The land is a living, breathing entity. Every place has a distinct vibe, built on geography, history, and all the people that inhabit it. That influences the characters and actions in the story.
- Often, setting detail does NOT need to come out in the first draft. Layer it in during revision - focus on the plot and characters first.
- Good writing is the hardest form of thinking (Pat Conroy).
- I REALLY wanna read this book.
- In general, characters are more memorable than plots - so work on them :)
- You get your ideas by asking yourself what kind of situation you would be happy to sit down and write about every single week for seven or eight months (Maeve Binchy).
- Travel writers don't need to travel - in fact, some of the best write about the areas where they live.
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength