Original Fic Tip: Build Your Setting Around Your Character's Point of View
Today's tip is about how to ensure a setting is tied to a character's Point of View and comes from this article.
Masterful setting description teaches us an important lesson: writers need to take the time to paint enough of a sensory-rich picture in order for readers to feel they are there—or at very least, get a glimpse of how the setting feels and looks to the POV (Point of View) character.
..When you are in POV and you describe a tree, you are not giving dry statistics about that tree; you are sharing what that character notices when looking at that tree. And the way that tree is described has to:
1. fit the character’s personality, vocabulary, background, and education (you can’t have an educated character describe the tree the way a botanist would);
2. fit the character’s mood at that moment (the choice of phrasing and adjectives, as well as the aspects of the tree noticed, has to reveal, mirror, or imply the mind-set);
3. and help set the tone of the scene.
I’m often asked how much sensory detail should be put in a description...If pressed to give a general answer to the question of amount, I would say this: Choose 2-3 senses in describing setting, then come up with at least 3-4 masterful sentences that showcase those sensory details. Make them details that help paint that picture for the reader
Now go forth and write!