Thursday, January 18, 2007

Location as Character

As a romance writer, I concentrate most on my hero and heroine, of course. It’s their story so they take center stage. Most of my stories are written in alternating H/h POV, or on rare occasions, all heroine POV. I delve into their emotions, their backstories and their motivation for doing what they do. In my longer stories I get to add a little depth to my secondary characters and my villains, all fun and necessary to a longer novel.

I was thinking today about another character that doesn’t often get as much attention. Location. Here’s a great example of location as character:

This is Halliwell Manor from Charmed. While I like the witchy sisters and their collection of supporting characters, my favorite player in the show is the house they live in. It has panache, a fascinating backstory, some power of its own. It has died and been brought back to life a few times just like most of the human characters on the show. It nurtures and protects the other characters and even provides a gateway to another realm in later episodes. Harry Potter’s Hogwarts is another fabulous example of location as character.

In my stories, I really haven’t yet explored the idea of location as character yet. The generational spaceship Ravenstar in Ravenstar’s Bride probably comes the closest to a location character, though it doesn’t possess the depth of Halliwell Manor or Hogwarts. Do you have a location as character? Have you created a place that is so integral to your story that it has a life of its own?


Jennifer Elbaum said...

Interesting post. I've got a WIP that takes place in a location that has a character all its own. It's definitely a member of the cast of characters.

Not to digress, but whatever happened to the Halliwell's cat?

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Ooh, good question. I know she runs away - but there's a later season epsiode where she comes back and I think they explain where she's been...I'll have to check into now...;)

crochetjess said...

It's sad that I know this...Kit ran away when the sisters didn't need her help anymore and morphed from a cat to a woman. She then lived like a crazy cat lady, raising more familiar-type kitties for future witches until some Big Bad went after her and she then ran to the sisters for help. I actually think she (as a human) gets killed, but can't remember for sure...what I can tell you is that all this is explained in the episode where Piper & Leo go to therapy and do the time traveling spell to try and resolve their issues and Phoebe and Paige are stuck in the flashbacks, I need to get a life....