Thursday, October 10, 2019

How My Setting Affects My Writing by Sydney Salter

I'll never forget the moment I walked out of a Harry Potter matinee, once again amazed at the visual representation of JK Rowling's thoroughly crafted wizard world. My eyes struggled to adjust to the bright sunny day, blinking and blinking, until I could focus on the stunning Wasatch mountains soaring into a deep blue sky. And it was so lovely and warm outside.

I live six minutes from a beautiful waterfall hike, twenty-five minutes from the Olympic venue for Men's and Women's downhill skiing. I can count on seeing the sun every day. A snowstorm is moving in this afternoon, but I still woke to clear blue skies. Utah can be frustrating, but dang is it beautiful.

My setting made up of sunny days and loads of natural beauty peeking above my otherwise ordinary suburban neighborhood, affects the stories I tell. Nothing in my immediate surrounding hints at the possibility of magical creatures lurking nearby. I'm sure someone could picture Dementors flocking to the local Olive Garden, but my mind just doesn't go there.

I tend to focus on the stories hidden behind the well-manicured landscapes of well-kept homes. Plenty of dark things happen in my community, but it's all splashed with sunshine and a gloss of outward perfection.

Sometimes those are the scariest stories of all!


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