Welcome to the fifth installment of Fiction Fundamentals. In this issue…Setting.
How would you describe this street? What are you writing? Who is your character? That and more will affect your description.
Setting serves an important purpose to ground the reader. It’s hard to get into a story when you don’t know where the character is or at what point in time the story takes place.
Margie Lawson maintains that within the first paragraph or two of every chapter or scene, you need to inform the reader of setting. Sometimes this isn’t necessary. If you start off each chapter with the location and year (for example, “London, March 1815”), then we have a pretty good idea of the where and when.
But establishing setting is more than just the where and when. There are Continue reading
One of the fears I’ve had throughout my life (aside from heights) is that my children, whenever I got around to having them, would not be readers. I’ve always been one. If you’ve read my bio on the About page, you’d see that the best punishment I could have received as a child was to be grounded to my room, because it meant uninterrupted reading time.
My parents should have been suspicious when I never complained.
So now I have two children, both boys, ages 7½ and 6½. Was my fear unfounded?
Yes. At least for my older son. Of that I’m sure. But I’ll get back to him in a sec.
While reading about kids reading, I stumbled upon an article in the Washington Post by Valerie Strauss about a teacher named Donalyn Miller, “The Book Whisperer.” She’s helped teach how to make kids lifelong readers, and in her latest book co-authored with veteran teacher Susan Kelley, “Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer’s Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits,” she discusses five traits that lifelong readers have…traits you can cultivate in your young children. What I found so interesting about this is my older son is exhibiting ALL five traits — at age 7½! Woot!
So what are they? Continue reading