Saturday, March 9, 2013

Setting the setting: Water colors

Hi friends of reading and writing,

Do you enjoy the setting details in reading or do you skip over them?  I've heard both from friends who read a lot.  I enjoy setting details myself, so I can go over the top in writing about them.  I have to remind myself about music, films, other good time markers, but when it comes to water, I can write a book on that alone.

Watching water is one of my favorite mind-regenerating activities.  It looks remarkably like doing nothing, I admit that.  But the colors change, reflect the sky's moods, show more or less reflection of the shore depending on the wind and current and the sun's position.  And the water can be its own color.  I posted a photo of a great blue heron at Newport Back Bay on FB.  People liked it, commented on their experiences with this bird.  Since I'm writing about North Carolina's lowland rivers and swamps, I said that for my setting in current writing, the water should be tes-brown or black.  Shiny like coal, great at reflecting egrets but great at hiding herons.  I just hope that the color of water means something to my readers someday.  It means a lot to my protagonist, Holly McLain, growing up into an environmental activist in North Carolina, then California.

What do you feel about settings in your writing and in your reading?