Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Place and Setting: The Habitat for Our Fictional Characters

Setting plays a crucial element in establishing the tone and context of the story.  As you write, choose setting details which reflect the nature of your protagonist and the world he or she inhabits

<--Week 3 - Week 4 - Week 5-->
Blocking - Setting

Vocabulary Quiz Next Monday

All the terms are currently listed under the Literary Terms tab.  You will not be tested on other terms until later in the course.  I will have definitions and examples posted later today.

Style Note: Sentence Length Reflects Tension and Pace
I've noticed that some of the pieces submitted for class have long sentences.  In general, most of your sentences should have only one noun/verb clause - sometimes, you'll need an additional independent or dependent clause to support the primary statement.  You will very, very, very rarely need a sentence which contains three or more clauses.

In relation to this, semicolons are usually a sign that a sentence is too long.  Most semicolons can be simply replaced with a dash, a comma, or a period.

Setting in the Stories from This Week
Break up into four groups.  In each group, examine one of this week's stories, paying close attention to how much setting is revealed.  In particular, look at these aspects of setting:

How do the characters interact with the setting? (e.g. How do Lieutenant Cross's men respond to Lavender's death?)

What does the setting tell us about the characters? (e.g. what's the major difference between the husband and wife in "Great Falls"?)

When is the setting introduced?  Is it given to us in one big lump?  Or several small lumps?  Or is it peppered throughout the piece? (e.g. how quickly do we learn about the train station of "Hills Like White Elephants"?)

What aspects of the setting are not revealed to us?  What details don't we know?  And do we need to know them? (e.g. how much of Waverly's room do we see?  Or how much of the tournament setting?)


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