So you’re reading a book. The characters are epic. The pace is fast and edgy. And the setting is…. huh… well, you’re not totally sure, but it’s probably awesome because it’s contemporary, which means it’s like a normal environment. Right? Nope. I don’t know about you guys, but this drives me nutty. Just because it’s a contemporary book taking place in the same old world we live in doesn’t mean you don’t need world building.
Some people believe that building a setting is really only needed for fantasy or science fiction books. To them I say, don’t speak; your ineptitude might be contagious!
Okay, I’d probably be harsher than that, but you get my gist. It’s incredibly important! Our environment has a massive impact on who we are as people, and as such, the environment would have a great impact on the story and its characters.
Lately, it’s like authors have forgotten that environments exist. The only time you hear the weather mentioned are as follows:
- She’s cold, so he gives her his jacket and or moves in closer (savvy, stud!).
- The wind is blowing her hair, causing it to dance in the wind (Cliché people, cliché! I may actually physically vomit if I read this line again).
- It’s an emotional moment of heartbreak and soul-crushing tension (CUE rain, people! CUE rain!).
I mean, what? I wish that I had that much control over the weather with my moods! Actually I lied; I have a horrible commute, and there would be some major calamity every Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 and 8:30 am… that would not be pretty.
So, readers, what do you think? Do you think authors should build a realistic world even if it’s a contemporary novel? What are some scenarios where the author totally ignored the laws of weather to fit a scene? (Like you know, a girl wearing a mini-skirt and strappy heels… in winter… in New England.)