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Setting! Setting! Setting!

Female Bluebird on a sunny day.
Mourning Dove on a rainy day--Raindrops keep falling on my head...

In writing and photography, setting can mean everything. Just think if the dove had been in front of a bunch of shrubs. The raindrops falling on his head would have been lost. The bluebird against the blue sky made for a nice backdrop.

In writing, I try to have a setting that challenges my characters, or gives the reader a new experience. I’m in the Boundary Waters on a canoe trip right now while writing the next Arctic Wolf book due out next year. It’s different from being in Alaska, where the story starts, the Grand Cayman Islands, where I've visited or say …Texas, where I live now.

Shooting pictures on a rainy day gives a different setting than on a sunny day. The same with a story. It sets the mood. A rainy, foggy day makes you feel different from a sunny, bright day. A place can  make you feel differently about the weather too. A sunny day in Oregon was welcome. In Florida, a stormy day was welcome, to break up the monotony of the constant sunshine. I know. I lived in both places too. :)

Night and day photography can change the scenery, even if it’s the same exact scenery. The same with setting. At night, what goes on can be very different from what happens during the day.

Vantage point. I was taking pictures of mushrooms from their level, which meant getting out my door mat so I wouldn’t get all wet from the grass when lying down. Then comes the attack of the puppies. If I’m on the ground, I must be there to play with them.

I do the same with writing as far as vantage point goes. What do the shifters see when they’re in their animal form? They’re lower to the ground, nose to the ground, eye level, totally different vantage point from a human walking upright.

 I'm am the most important mushroom of all.

Sometimes you just want to highlight one person among all the rest. But if that little mushroom didn’t have all his fellow mushrooms standing behind him, would he have been as interesting? Maybe. But maybe not. So, it can be with writing–and photography, the secondary characters–mushrooms–that make the one stand out.

And those are my brilliant words of wisdom today!

Have a great day!!!

Terry Spear
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
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