In American football, a team fields eleven players at a time. Like characters in a novel, different players take on different roles. Some play the hero, like Superbowl MVP Kansas City Chief Patrick Mahomes did last night. Others might play the role of spoiler or villain, while others are supporting cast.
And while the players on the field steal the spotlight, there’s a phenomenon known as the twelfth man—that invisible force that exerts a presence and influences the outcome of the game. Some people say the twelfth man is the will of the fans, others refer to it as home-field advantage, while others call it karma. In fiction writing, we have our own “twelfth man” and we call it setting.
When you think of Setting as a silent character, it introduces a new and powerful paradigm shift to your writing.
But what are the components of setting? And how do we utilize setting to influence the thoughts and emotions of our POV characters and add tension and richness to our storytelling? To help answer these questions, Brian Andrews and Career Authors proudly present the fourth installment in our series of infographics—SETTING: The Silent Character.