This week: How Important is Location in a RomanceEdited by: Dawn Embers
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Romance/Love Newsletter by Elf
Considering the importance of setting in romance stories for the meet cutes and beyond.
For those of us that aren't very descriptive, it can be easy to forget the minor details like what rooms and other places the characters might be in during each scene. Without a little detail, you might end up with what is referred to as the white room. This is where the characters are somewhere but the readers aren't given the information to tell them anything about the location of where things are happening.
So, detail can be helpful. Setting can help for a number of reasons in every genre, including romance and love stories. This doesn't mean you need to spend 10,000 words on the setting, or even 1,000. Every situation and moment will vary, so you'll have to work on the story to find what is right each time. So, amount aside, what are some reasons to add setting details in a romance story?
In particular, historical romances and making sure a story fits within a specific type or category, setting can be quite useful and important. The little details of the rooms and other locations will help show the reader what makes the story fit in that grouping. A historical setting will look different than one used for an urban or western style place, for example. There are details of clothing and such too, but the gardens where she and the Earl interact or the room where she has to get that long, cumbersome dress that might be on the front cover can be helpful details in setting and bringing the reader into the story.
2. The Meet Cute
That moment when the characters meet and have that spark is one where having a little setting detail might be helpful. You can create the moment with some information about where the characters are located will give the moment depth. Sure, there are times when focusing on the other factors more of the characters and other details will be more important. However, doing a little about the places around the characters along with what brings them together will have added benefits for this part of the story too.
We can't forget conflict in the romance and love stories, which can include details of the places where the problems are happening. While it's possible to have the setting be a part of the conflict (fighting over a ranch or such). But the setting doesn't have to be a large part of the conflict in order to be mentioned during the moments of conflict. A minor mention or two, something that doesn't take away from the moment of the problem, this will help keep the reader within the story and focused on the situations while seeing the scene as things go down on the page.
Those are just a few reasons and places within the romance/love stories where setting could be handy. The amount of words used in order to show the scenes/details will vary depending on the story. Main point is, don't forget the setting. I need to work on that in my novel edits too. That's what rewrites and edits are for, fixing the weaker points, which for me includes setting details. But what do you think about the use of setting in romance stories? Let me know.
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Do you think the setting is important in a romance story? How much detail do you like to see as the reader?
Last time, I discussed some on symbolism since it was before Valentine's Day and hearts were visible in all of the stores. Here are the two responses sent in:
Comment by Monty
Good advice in this News Letter and written to hold the readers interest.
- Thank you
Comment by SkyHawk - Into The Music
Normally, I procrastinate. Frankly, since my parent's divorce many years ago, many of the holidays have lost meaning for me -- which gets a little strange when you have a fiancée who values holidays greatly. But this year, I had to handle Valentines early, because I'm going to be out of town until late Valentines evening. So I got stuff together for her and left it on her nightstand before I left town. Needless to say, she was greatly surprised by it!
- Sounds like a great surprise.
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