By Karen Mueller Bryson
When I write a new book, I carefully consider where the story will be set and where each scene will take place. I believe setting is an important part of telling a captivating story, so I make an effort to select unique settings and describe them in as much detail as necessary.
For example, when I wrote the romantic comedy One Last Class, the story of a young college professor, who is applying for tenure and falls in love with her student, a washed-up teen former teen idol, who has returned to college to complete his degree, I knew most of the action would have to take place on or around the college campus. However, I also thought about ways in which I could add some unique scenes. I decided to have the pair take a romantic stroll in a butterfly garden, which added another dimension of beauty and tenderness to the story. Both main characters have dogs (who also “fall” for each other), so I was able to add several scenes in the dog park as well as the pet store, which added some humor and playfulness to the story.
In the romantic comedy Twyla’s Last Trip, a young researcher must take her estranged mother’s ashes on a road trip across the country on Route 66, accompanied by her mother’s country lawyer and his bloodhound. A road trip always lends itself to the use of a variety of unique settings and I took full advantage in this story! Here are just a few of the interesting places the main characters visit in the book:
1) Ted Drew’s Frozen Custard Stand outside St. Louis, MO.
2) Stubby Stonehenge in Rolla, MO
3) The Blue Whale of Catoosa, OK
4) Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, TX
5) Arizona’s Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest
6) The Meteor Crater outside Winslow, AZ
7) London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Even if I’ve never actually visited a place I decide to make use of in a book, I do as much research as necessary to make a reader feel as though he or she is actually there with the characters, experiencing the unique setting as the characters are experiencing them. I also enjoy adding some tidbits of interesting factoids or history about the settings I chose just for fun. I guess that’s the educator in me coming out!
Buy One Last Class: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Class-Karen-Mueller-Bryson/dp/1470079097/
Buy Twyla’s Last Trip: http://www.amazon.com/Twylas-Last-Trip-Short-Time/
Karen Mueller Bryson’s website: http://www.ahorsewithnoname.com
Short on Time Books: http://www.shortontimebooks.com