Hey everyone! I’m so happy to host bestselling author Jennifer Probst today. Her latest release, BEYOND ME, is part of a three book series, SEX ON THE BEACH. Check them all out for a hint of summer fun while we wait for summer to actually arrive.
The Importance of Setting by Jennifer Probst
Every writer has strengths and weaknesses. Some love character and dialogue, others prefer flowing description and strong narrative.
From the very first, I’ve been known to be weak with setting. Perhaps, it was my background in short stories and novella length projects. I learned to keep it tight, keep it moving, and the best way to do it was eliminate the setting. You would laugh at how many times an editor would occasionally point out in my manuscripts to describe the surroundings and give more detail!
But time and hard work strengthens craft – we hope!- and now I see more clearly the importance of grounding the reader in the where rather than skipping straight to the why.
When my fellow authors and I created the Sex on the Beach series, we knew setting was going to be important in the book. Since it takes place on spring break with three college friends, we focused on beach. Cocktails. A location that emphasizes losing inhibitions and being free.
We all agreed quite quickly Key West was perfect. We had all travelled there, and had the uniqueness to make the books more interesting. Besides being famous for Jimmy Buffet and margaritas, it claims the famous Duval street, Hemmingway’s house, the southernmost point, and gives endless opportunities for scenes at bars, boats, and beaches.
Anything is possible in Key West.
The unfolding of Quinn and James’ story would have been quite different set in another location. The background becomes its own character in their journey, from their first meet at a party, their first kiss on a beach, to their showdown in a crowded bar, the reader hopefully feels as if they’ve too been on vacation.
And who doesn’t enjoy a delicious tropical cocktail on vacation?
Sex on the Beach.
I hope you try one. And the series!!
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GREAT post Jen! For the sake of keeping the story moving, I am usually light with description of setting. I usually try to give just enough for the reader’s imagination to take over.