Modern readers often skip over passages of description in search of the action scenes in fiction. This, like channel-surfing, may be a sign of the shorter attention span of our times.
That’s why it’s critical to incorporate a sense of place into the scenes as you tell your story. Short story writer and novelist, Eudora Welty, is a master of creating settings that are as powerful as her characters. In her essay “Place in Fiction,” she reminds us:
“Location is the ground conductor of all the currents of emotion and belief and moral conviction that charge out from the story in its course. These charges need the warm hard earth underfoot, the light and lift of air, the stir and play of mood, the softening bath of atmosphere that give the likeness-to-life . . . ”
Whether you’re writing mysteries, science fiction, or literary fiction, this “likeness-to-life” makes your story real for the reader.