Have an honest reverence for the setting. It’s important to see where your character is and what she is doing, but try to include the setting in the action. You can use some tricks here:
· Use dialogue: “Watch out for that rattlesnake.”
· A brief mention – The plane landed. Raining. Of course, Vancouver.
· Or a complaint, a letter home, a phone call. “Surrey? They roll the sidewalks up at 6 PM.”
Give enough detail, but not too much. Too much detail slows down the story. Don’t give the reader everything you know about the place. Rather, as Chekov did, find the little detail that reveals the place.
Consider using setting or place in one of these ways:
* place as a symbol, e.g. the murder of a homeless person happens in the city dump.
* place as the antagonist, e.g. a person is lost at sea or lost in the desert.
* place as destiny. The pioneers struggle over the mountains to reach Salt Lake City.
* place as backdrop. Two mountain climbers struggle for dominance as they climb a difficult mountain.
* place as a narrative element. Here’s where the story is taking place. This is the most common use of place.