Tag Archive for: setting in fiction

Oh, The Places We’ll Go

By AB Plum
When writing
a novel, time and place matter. They anchor, at the simplest level, the story
setting. Characters don’t exist in a vacuum so I like putting them in a
place, at a time, when they have to make choices.

The Early Years, Book 1 in The MisFit Series gives the month, the city, and the specific
location in the city. The narrator makes a choice to commit murder. He pinpoints
at the micro level a horrific train accident and its relationship to him. The
train station, the frigid cold, the crowds—all symbolize the trajectory of the
narrator’s future. 

All this setting gets settled in less than a page.

When I wrote
the Danish descriptions, I did so from memory and with a few details from my
husband, born in Copenhagen. All the while I wrote the MisFit Series, we discussed how much fun we’d have going back and
staying for more than three weeks.

So, this
summer, we’ll leave Silicon Valley and stay in a Copenhagen apartment near
where my husband lived as a little boy. (Go figure that my WIP is the Ryn Davis
Mystery Series set in the shadow of Google. Who knows? Ryn may meet a Dane in
one of the upcoming mysteries).

My plan is to
absorb more than the kringles, polse, plaice, and
rødgrød med fløde (flaky almond-stuffed pastry, hot
dogs, flounder, and raspberry/strawberry porridge with thick cream). I hope to
return to the US speaking en smule dansk (a little Danish). I plan to visit all
the tourist spots and those
out-of-way cultural and historical landmarks known only to Danish citizens.
With lots of family there, I think we’ll experience this setting more deeply
than we now can only imagine.

I’ll
write my July blog from Denmark. My plan is to write about the main train
station (
Københavns Hovedbanegård). This setting is the scene referenced
above in
The Early Years. This setting lays
the groundwork to delve into a psychopath’s dark mind.

****** 
AB Plum lives with her husband and alter ego, Barbara Plum off the beaten path but writes in Silicon Valley—a setting
unto itself. She tries to capture the nuances of the place in her new Ryn Davis
Mystery Series.