So. Y'all know what time it is, right? Blog chain time!!! :) For this round, the awesome Alyson submitted the following questions:
How important is setting when crafting a story? How do you choose where your stories take place? How do you research setting? Do you have to have been somewhere in order to write about it? What are some memorable settings from books you've read?
Ah, setting. Sometimes I love you. Sometimes I want to punch you in the face.
When it comes to my projects, setting does play a key role, but the level of importance varies. In my current WIP, setting is hugely important, especially considering it's a high fantasy. It's all about the details and making sure they make sense for both the characters and what they must do within the story. As for choosing my WIP's setting, it actually came to me a long time after I first thought of the premise/characters (as is often the case). I'm not a fan of working setting into my first drafts. It takes me several drafts to flesh out the world, its rules, and how it contributes to the main character's dilemma. But I do have an idea of what the world looks/feels like, though. I have to. My WIP's setting is most definitely the only setting where my story can work. There's no taking the characters out and putting them somewhere else, which is what tells me I'm doing my job right.
In terms of research, it depends on the project. For this one, I researched some stuff prior to drafting, and I'm still researching other stuff while editing. AND I still have lots more stuff to research. *sigh* Thankfully, I enjoy reading about elements that I'll incorporate into my story. It's the actual incorporating that makes me break out in hives. :)
One of the most memorable settings as a reader is, of course, Hogwarts. Best. Setting. EVER. My desire to trade places with Harry in the Great Hall hasn't died yet. I don't think it ever will. Also, I love THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater, and I thought the island of Thisby rocked (November cakes, people. THEY HAVE NOVEMBER CAKES OVER THERE). But I really got a kick out of reading about Paris in Stephanie Perkins's ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. I've been to Paris, so I got to relive everything through Anna's eyes, and it was SO much fun. Another awesome setting was Washokey, Wyoming, in Kirsten Hubbard's stunning LIKE MANDARIN. Not a big fan of deserts, but the one in Hubbard's debut packed such a punch for me, as did her writing. *swoons*
So. That's my take on Alyson's super awesome topic! Make sure you go check out Cole's post, and stay tuned for Margie's!