SETTING THE SCENE
Characters don’t act in a vacuum. Their actions take place somewhere. More than a place, a setting can set the tone, show characterization, create obstacles, and even become a character itself.
In O. Henry’s short story, “The Gift of the Magi,” Della is upset that she doesn’t have enough money to buy her husband a Christmas present. The scene outside describes her mood: “She stood by the window and looked out dully at a grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard.”
Don’t neglect your settings. They have great power.