Wednesday 21 February 2024

It's all in the background

 If you read romance - or crime for that matter - your main focus is, of course, on the story and the development of the characters. But what about the other things that add to the enjoyment of a book - what you might call texture?  I've been making a list from some of the romance books I have read recently.

Gardens seem to be a perennial favourite (See what I did there?) Often derelict, or with history.

Houses/buildings - inherited, falling down, haunted 

Animals - dogs and cats are the top players, but really anything with four legs will probably work, preferably cute and fluffy. 

Landscape - not location, which is a bigger thing, but those touches that tell you about the surroundings - the bleakness of the moor, the slickness of the New York apartment.

Food - we all need to eat and books that heavily involve the preparation and consumption of  delectable eats are a thing. A restaurant or bakery, or coffee shop or even just baked goods of some sort. Afternoon tea - a favourite of mine. 

Costume - knowing what a character is wearing can tell you a lot about the personality - the aging hippie, the buttoned up business man. 

Weather - I recently came across the term pathetic fallacy - which I haven't heard since studying poetry in Uni. It's attributing emotions to inanimate things - sadness and rain, sunshine and happiness. 

Family and friends - sometime found family. A source of support, or aggravation. More of this in a later post. 

Events - the village show, the opening of a museum, an ominous anniversary. 

All these - and you can probably add a lot more - pull the book together. They also tend to be the kind of things that need a bit of research. And you know all about authors and research ....

But that is completely another story. 

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