Monday, April 9, 2012
H = Habitat
Intense philosophical discussions about literature and the essence of good writing include the habitat or location of your character. It does matter where the story takes place.
Ever heard the expression: “Location, Location, Location”? Location is just as important in writing as in life. The two locations most important for writers are: Where does your story take place? And where is your reader?
An excellent example of a writer who knew the where of the story and the where of his readers was Louis L’Amour. Mr. L’Amour wrote Adventure stories. Many of his adventures were set in the Wild West. Descriptions of the Western landscape were essential for his predominately city-dwelling readers.
L’Amour became famous for the detailed descriptions of landscape down to the color and texture of the rocks and the dust along the side of the trial. The heat of the sun beating down on already exhausted cowboys was even more intense when the reader notices, as the thirsty rider would, the trial seems to go on forever; from cactus to rocks to a dusty gorge. Every writer familiar with L’Amour’s writing understands how important location/habitat is to each of his stories.
**Remember the habitat: where is your character & where is your reader?