on Writers Helping Writers:
We’ve probably all heard some variation of the advice to develop story settings that feel like characters. Hogwarts castle in the Harry Potterstory world, the Overlook Hotel in The Shining, and East and West Egg in The Great Gatsby are all frequently listed as examples of settings that come alive in readers’ imaginations.
However, we also know that not all advice applies to every writer or story. So let’s dig into this idea:
Should we apply the advice “think of your setting as a character” to our story—and if so, how?