April 22, 2013

Scrumptious Setting = S: Blogging from A to Z

Happy Monday!

It's time for S in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Scintillating, isn't it?

Today, keeping with my literary devices theme, I wanted to talk about setting.

Setting
(source)
in literature, the location and time frame in which the action of a narrative takes place

Seems simple, right?

Consider a twelve-year-old girl as a main character. Of course we want to know what she looks like, what her home life is like. Let's say she's a brunette with dark brown eyes and fair skin. 

Now, put her in Hollywood in the 80s. How about Germany in 1944? Totally different vibe, but both add details for who our character will be.

Sometimes the setting becomes another character in the book. In Under the Tuscan Sun, Italy is a vital component to the story. The book's description (from Amazon):

Frances Mayes—widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer—opens the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which she includes in the book. Doing for Tuscany what M.F.K. Fisher and Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion.

In a true testament to the setting's importance, the cover doesn't feature a character.

Setting can be an actual place or something completely dreamed up by the author. In Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins created District 12. The poverty-stricken, post-disaster area is a key element to the story of Katniss Everdeen. District 12 and The Capitol are a juxtaposition of poverty and opulence. Then, of course, there was the arena where the games were fought. Vivid setting details added to the complexity of the story.

What's your favorite setting in a novel?

Hope you are loving A to Z this year. Check out some amazing participants here.

6 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

There's been a few, but I did enjoy the setting descriptions from The Hunger Games. Suzanne knows how to get slip in the right about of details.

M.J. Fifield said...

Every time I read/see Under The Tuscan Sun, I want to move to Italy. Scrumptious Setting is right.

Jessica Schley said...

I absolutely love the Maine orphanage in CIDER HOUSE RULES. I love John Irving's descriptions of New England more generally, but I thought that one was particularly satisfying.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Narnia is my favorite place in this world and in that one. Plus, you can always come home and never have aged a day.

Stephsco said...

I like new settings I don't know much about. Like with the YA book Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard, it's about a recently graduated young woman who travels to Central America for a self-discovery type vacation. You see the tourist side, and the off-the-beaten-path angle of traveling. I felt like I was right there with her, discovering little beaches, suffering through stifling heat, and meeting backpackers. I like it when the setting is almost like a character in the book.

Krista McLaughlin said...

Setting is so incredibly important! My favorite would have to be Middle Earth, created by the genius Tolkien. So many rich details of such a mythical place. I wanna go there. :)