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Posts Tagged ‘Kathleen Ernst’

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail for October 22nd, 2011
by Jen Wilcher

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” — St. Augustine

Middleton writer guests with First-and-Third . . .
“Make your setting do double or triple duty,” special guest Kathleen Ernst, a writer of historical novels for young adults and mysteries for adults, told First-and-Thirders this week. “Setting should not be just a backdrop or stage for our stories.”

Ernst, from Middleton, shared her ideas on how best to integrate setting into the stories we write. Her notes are attached at the end of this issue, but here’s the quick summary:
– Setting can help reveal backstory. We can use it to tell backstory without telling backstory.
– Setting can reveal character.
– Setting can be used to show how characters change over time.
– We can use setting to advance our stories.
– Setting can reflect the tone we’re trying to establish in our books.
– We can use setting to heighten the conflict between characters.
– We can use setting to provide authenticity. We should find specific details, using all the senses, then sprinkle them into our story rather than doing a data dump.
– Setting can become a character itself. (more…)

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