Exhibit 9.20

On Editing a Novel #6

SETTING YOUR NOVEL. It’s likely that your first draft took place in an uninterrupted white landscape without any detail whatsoever. Or possibly a castle. When redrafting, your goal should always be to do more: more uninterruptions, more white, more spires.

Think of the world of your novel as your playground. That’s not to say you’ll only need teeter-totters–though you will–but also trees, clouds, grass, war, benches, buildings, etc. Still not getting it? Let’s see if a simile helps (see #11 USING SIMILES IS LIKE USING GOLD). Think of it like television, like black and white, one-dimensional television.

But not just any setting works for any novel. Ask yourself some questions about your characters to get a sense of what time period they’re living in.

Do they say ‘thee’ and ‘zounds’? If so, you’ll need some armadas.
Do they eat dinosaur? You’ll probably need some larger than expected mosquitoes.
Do they wear armor? If so, you can just stick with the castle.
Do they shoot people with lasers? That’s so awesome.
Do they ride horses? You’ll need some saloons and consumption.
Do they wear poodle skirts? Describe a clean neighborhood of ranch houses (but only in black and white)

Once you have your setting nailed down, populate it with things you see around yourself like toddlers, light, and floor.

Comment / Posted in Editing, Unanswered questions, Writing

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