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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Setting as Character

Think of any great novel you've loved and you'll think immediately of the setting. Would Cathy and Heathcliff be the same without the moors? Rhett and Scarlett without the Civil War South? Often the setting is as much a part of the story--almost a character in it--as your major characters are. It was with that in mind that I set my Rainbow Rock books in a tiny, fictional town near the Painted Desert in northeastern Arizona. Here are a few of the passages that hint at my setting as character:

From Book 1: RIDE THE RAINBOW HOME

"Oh!" Meg jumped as lightning crashed overhead. She swerved slightly, but fought her sports car back into her lane. July had come to the high plateau and with it, a typical afternoon thundershower. To Margaret Taylor, who hadn't seen the plateau for years, the storm was anything but typical. Lightning danced along the ridges and shimmered through the valley of the Little Colorado River, sending thunder rumbling in its wake. Giant thunderheads loomed thousands of feet above the red sandstone cliffs, pierced here and there by shafts of yellow light that brought heaven to earth.


From Book 2: AT THE RAINBOW'S END

A stiff breeze scoured the desert floor, catching powdery snowflakes and drifting them against the roots of the greasewood and creosote bushes. Kurt McAllister watched the would-be storm with tepid interest, idly reminded of the way his mother used to sift powdered sugar onto freshly baked gingerbread. 

From Book 3: DON'T PROMISE ME RAINBOWS
The farm lay quiet, fields worked and turned or hayed and mowed or resting fallow under a snowy blanket, animals anticipating their evening feed and a night's rest. High desert sunsets were almost always spectacular and now, during the dawn of the year, they came early, the sky often fully dark by five o'clock. Chris glimpsed the gathering sunset.

Next week I'll share glimpses from books 4, 5, and 6. Of course you can beat me to it. All six Rainbow Rock books are currently available for Kindle, Nook, Apple devices, other e-readers or your home computer. The first book is currently FREE.

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful descriptions. Not only do your settings tell the reader where the action is taking place, they set the mood. Very nice.

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  2. I love descriptions of settings, especially those that make the setting a character, as you say. Thanks for sharing the beautiful glimpses of Arizona.

    Here's MY SWEET SATURDAY SAMPLE

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  3. I agree that the setting of the store is important.

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  4. I loved Ride the Rainbow Home! I'm planning to read the rest of them. I love how you set the scene in the very beginning. And the tensions are so real. Great stories!!

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