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    Tweeted twitter.com/StackWriting/status/1152820626241064960
10 reframed the question to make it more widely relevant
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When writing a story, how do you find a good balance between the significance of different elements, such as plot, themes, and bold settings and characters, and the character arcs?

In my case I have a great setting for a minor part of the book, and it is threatening to become much more significant in the mind of the reader than I had intended, imposing its own themes and emotional significance, but I don't want to lose the color it brings to the story.

I am writing a historical novel in which, currently, most of the story takes place in one country (England), significant backstory is set in a second (British Guiana), and significant plot developments happen in a third (France). The British Guiana backstory provides a significant catalyst for why my protagonists meet and get together (he's a naturalist who explores the rainforest there, she lived there in her childhood and attends his lecture about it), and it flavors a lot of the rest of the story and provides a few minor plot elements, but never becomes relevant again as a destination or setting.

I'm new to creative writing and learning as I go, but my instincts are telling me the balance between setting, theme, and character arcs is off. I'd like to give a satisfying ending to those two character arcs. The beginning of the story implicitly emphasizes BG and travel as thematically important because it's a point of connection for the main characters and their families. However, the plot and resolution force the characters to stay in England for the foreseeable future (because of what happens in France), and thus they must abandon any hope of both natural history expeditions and visiting BG. While the lack of further natural history adventures is acceptable and leads to character and plot development, the inability to reconnect with BG leaves me feeling let down, particularly for my female protagonist, who is homesick and might have reasonably expected to travel there with the naturalist. It's an open emotional thread that needs a conclusion, and I'd like my protagonist to feel satisfied with things by the end.

What needs to change in orderbe changed to have satisfying character arcs without completely disrupting the plot or dismissing the importance of strong character backstory and settingbring these elements into balance?

Thank you!

[Edited to keep the question germane to the site.]

I am writing a historical novel in which, currently, most of the story takes place in one country (England), significant backstory is set in a second (British Guiana), and significant plot developments happen in a third (France). The British Guiana backstory provides a significant catalyst for why my protagonists meet and get together (he's a naturalist who explores the rainforest there, she lived there in her childhood and attends his lecture about it), and it flavors a lot of the rest of the story and provides a few minor plot elements, but never becomes relevant again as a destination or setting.

I'm new to creative writing and learning as I go, but my instincts are telling me the balance between setting, theme, and character arcs is off. I'd like to give a satisfying ending to those two character arcs. The beginning of the story implicitly emphasizes BG and travel as thematically important because it's a point of connection for the main characters and their families. However, the plot and resolution force the characters to stay in England for the foreseeable future (because of what happens in France), and thus they must abandon any hope of both natural history expeditions and visiting BG. While the lack of further natural history adventures is acceptable and leads to character and plot development, the inability to reconnect with BG leaves me feeling let down, particularly for my female protagonist, who is homesick and might have reasonably expected to travel there with the naturalist. It's an open emotional thread that needs a conclusion, and I'd like my protagonist to feel satisfied with things by the end.

What needs to change in order to have satisfying character arcs without completely disrupting the plot or dismissing the importance of strong character backstory and setting?

Thank you!

[Edited to keep the question germane to the site.]

When writing a story, how do you find a good balance between the significance of different elements, such as plot, themes, and bold settings and characters, and the character arcs?

In my case I have a great setting for a minor part of the book, and it is threatening to become much more significant in the mind of the reader than I had intended, imposing its own themes and emotional significance, but I don't want to lose the color it brings to the story.

I am writing a historical novel in which, currently, most of the story takes place in one country (England), significant backstory is set in a second (British Guiana), and significant plot developments happen in a third (France). The British Guiana backstory provides a significant catalyst for why my protagonists meet and get together (he's a naturalist who explores the rainforest there, she lived there in her childhood and attends his lecture about it), and it flavors a lot of the rest of the story and provides a few minor plot elements, but never becomes relevant again as a destination or setting.

I'm new to creative writing, but my instincts are telling me the balance between setting, theme, and character arcs is off. I'd like to give a satisfying ending to those two character arcs. The beginning of the story implicitly emphasizes BG and travel as thematically important because it's a point of connection for the main characters and their families. However, the plot and resolution force the characters to stay in England for the foreseeable future (because of what happens in France), and thus they must abandon any hope of both natural history expeditions and visiting BG. While the lack of further natural history adventures is acceptable and leads to character and plot development, the inability to reconnect with BG leaves me feeling let down, particularly for my female protagonist, who is homesick and might have reasonably expected to travel there with the naturalist. It's an open emotional thread that needs a conclusion.

What needs to be changed to bring these elements into balance?

Thank you!

    Post Reopened by wetcircuit, Evil Sparrow, NofP, DPT, Galastel
9 Updated title to match edited question.
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Balancing setting, theme, and character arcs: where and whenhow to deal with a setting that carries emotional weight but is left behind?

I am writing a historical novel in which, currently, most of the story takes place in one country (England), significant backstory is set in a second (British Guiana), and significant plot developments happen in a third (France). The British Guiana backstory provides a significant catalyst for why my protagonists meet and get together (he's a naturalist who explores the rainforest there, she lived there in her childhood and attends his lecture about it), and it flavors a lot of the rest of the story and provides a few minor plot elements, but never becomes relevant again as a destination or setting.

I'm new to creative writing and learning as I go, but my instincts are telling me the balance between setting, theme, and character arcs is off. I'd like to give a satisfying ending to those two character arcs. The beginning of the story implicitly emphasizes BG and travel as thematically important because it's a point of connection for the main characters and their families. However, the plot and resolution force the characters to stay in England for the foreseeable future (because of what happens in France), and thus they must abandon any hope of both natural history expeditions and visiting BG. While the lack of further natural history adventures is acceptable and leads to character and plot development, the inability to reconnect with BG leaves me feeling let down, particularly for my female protagonist, who is homesick and might have reasonably expected to travel there with the naturalist. It's an open emotional thread that needs a positive conclusion, and I'd like my protagonist to feel satisfied with things by the end.

What needs to change in order to have satisfying character arcs without completely disrupting the plot or dismissing the importance of strong character backstory and setting?

Thank you!

[Edited to keep the question germane to the site.]

Balancing setting and character arcs: where and when?

I am writing a historical novel in which, currently, most of the story takes place in one country (England), significant backstory is set in a second (British Guiana), and significant plot developments happen in a third (France). The British Guiana backstory provides a significant catalyst for why my protagonists meet and get together (he's a naturalist who explores the rainforest there, she lived there in her childhood and attends his lecture about it), and it flavors a lot of the rest of the story and provides a few minor plot elements, but never becomes relevant again as a destination or setting.

I'm new to creative writing and learning as I go, but my instincts are telling me the balance between setting, theme, and character arcs is off. I'd like to give a satisfying ending to those two character arcs. The beginning of the story implicitly emphasizes BG and travel as thematically important because it's a point of connection for the main characters and their families. However, the plot and resolution force the characters to stay in England for the foreseeable future (because of what happens in France), and thus they must abandon any hope of both natural history expeditions and visiting BG. While the lack of further natural history adventures is acceptable and leads to character and plot development, the inability to reconnect with BG leaves me feeling let down, particularly for my female protagonist, who is homesick and might have reasonably expected to travel there with the naturalist. It's an open emotional thread that needs a positive conclusion.

What needs to change in order to have satisfying character arcs without completely disrupting the plot or dismissing the importance of strong character backstory and setting?

Thank you!

[Edited to keep the question germane to the site.]

Balancing setting, theme, and character arcs: how to deal with a setting that carries emotional weight but is left behind?

I am writing a historical novel in which, currently, most of the story takes place in one country (England), significant backstory is set in a second (British Guiana), and significant plot developments happen in a third (France). The British Guiana backstory provides a significant catalyst for why my protagonists meet and get together (he's a naturalist who explores the rainforest there, she lived there in her childhood and attends his lecture about it), and it flavors a lot of the rest of the story and provides a few minor plot elements, but never becomes relevant again as a destination or setting.

I'm new to creative writing and learning as I go, but my instincts are telling me the balance between setting, theme, and character arcs is off. I'd like to give a satisfying ending to those two character arcs. The beginning of the story implicitly emphasizes BG and travel as thematically important because it's a point of connection for the main characters and their families. However, the plot and resolution force the characters to stay in England for the foreseeable future (because of what happens in France), and thus they must abandon any hope of both natural history expeditions and visiting BG. While the lack of further natural history adventures is acceptable and leads to character and plot development, the inability to reconnect with BG leaves me feeling let down, particularly for my female protagonist, who is homesick and might have reasonably expected to travel there with the naturalist. It's an open emotional thread that needs a conclusion, and I'd like my protagonist to feel satisfied with things by the end.

What needs to change in order to have satisfying character arcs without completely disrupting the plot or dismissing the importance of strong character backstory and setting?

Thank you!

[Edited to keep the question germane to the site.]

8 Simplified the question
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I am writing a historical novel in which, currently, most of the story takes place in one country (England), significant backstory is set in a second (British Guiana), and significant plot developments happen in a third (France). The British Guiana backstory provides a significant catalyst for why my protagonists meet and get together (he's a naturalist who explores the rainforest there, she lived there in her childhood and attends his lecture about it), and it flavors a lot of the rest of the story and provides a few minor plot elements, but never becomes relevant again as a destination or setting.

I'm new to creative writing and learning as I go, but my instincts are telling me the balance between setting, theme, and character arcs is off. I'd like to give a satisfying ending to those two character arcs. The beginning of the story implicitly emphasizes BG and travel as thematically important because it's a point of connection for the main characters and their families. However, the plot and resolution force the characters to stay in England for the foreseeable future (because of what happens in France), and thus they must abandon any hope of both natural history expeditions and visiting BG. While the lack of further natural history adventures is acceptable and leads to character and plot development, the inability to reconnect with BG leaves me feeling let down, particularly for my female protagonist, who is homesick and might have reasonably expected to travel there with the naturalist. I'd like to fix this and in so doing hopefully make the story a bit tighter and more cohesive.

I've come up with two alternatives that will provide wish fulfillment and allow my character to visit home again, but unfortunately they present a whole slew of new complications: move all the foreign backstory and action to one countryIt's an open emotional thread that satisfies a very-difficult-to-meet list of criteria (met by neither BG nor France), which would also mean scrapping many colorful details and minor plot elements based on their backstory in BG; or let the naturalist explore BG as backstory but give my leading ladyneeds a new homeland (also with difficult but fewer criteria) where the plot action can happen, which would preserve the colorful details and BG minor plot elements and also reduce the thematic importance of BG. Before I dive into research to find this needle-in-an-atlas I'd like to know if I'm on the right trackpositive conclusion.

What needs to change in order to have satisfying character arcs without completely disrupting the plot or dismissing the importance of strong character backstory and setting? Will changing locations help by fulfilling this theme and unresolved tension, and if so, which of the above approaches do you think is better? Is there a different approach that can resolve this homesickness thread by changing her attitude or expectations without requiring entirely new settings?

Thank you!

[Edited to keep the question germane to the site.]

I am writing a historical novel in which, currently, most of the story takes place in one country (England), significant backstory is set in a second (British Guiana), and significant plot developments happen in a third (France). The British Guiana backstory provides a significant catalyst for why my protagonists meet and get together (he's a naturalist who explores the rainforest there, she lived there in her childhood and attends his lecture about it), and it flavors a lot of the rest of the story but never becomes relevant again as a destination or setting.

I'm new to creative writing and learning as I go, but my instincts are telling me the balance between setting, theme, and character arcs is off. The beginning of the story implicitly emphasizes BG and travel as thematically important because it's a point of connection for the main characters and their families. However, the plot and resolution force the characters to stay in England for the foreseeable future (because of what happens in France), and thus they must abandon any hope of both natural history expeditions and visiting BG. While the lack of further natural history adventures is acceptable and leads to character and plot development, the inability to reconnect with BG leaves me feeling let down, particularly for my female protagonist, who is homesick and might have reasonably expected to travel there with the naturalist. I'd like to fix this and in so doing hopefully make the story a bit tighter and more cohesive.

I've come up with two alternatives that will provide wish fulfillment and allow my character to visit home again, but unfortunately they present a whole slew of new complications: move all the foreign backstory and action to one country that satisfies a very-difficult-to-meet list of criteria (met by neither BG nor France), which would also mean scrapping many colorful details and minor plot elements based on their backstory in BG; or let the naturalist explore BG as backstory but give my leading lady a new homeland (also with difficult but fewer criteria) where the plot action can happen, which would preserve the colorful details and BG minor plot elements and also reduce the thematic importance of BG. Before I dive into research to find this needle-in-an-atlas I'd like to know if I'm on the right track.

What needs to change in order to have satisfying character arcs without completely disrupting the plot or dismissing the importance of strong character backstory and setting? Will changing locations help by fulfilling this theme and unresolved tension, and if so, which of the above approaches do you think is better? Is there a different approach that can resolve this homesickness thread by changing her attitude or expectations without requiring entirely new settings?

Thank you!

[Edited to keep the question germane to the site.]

I am writing a historical novel in which, currently, most of the story takes place in one country (England), significant backstory is set in a second (British Guiana), and significant plot developments happen in a third (France). The British Guiana backstory provides a significant catalyst for why my protagonists meet and get together (he's a naturalist who explores the rainforest there, she lived there in her childhood and attends his lecture about it), and it flavors a lot of the rest of the story and provides a few minor plot elements, but never becomes relevant again as a destination or setting.

I'm new to creative writing and learning as I go, but my instincts are telling me the balance between setting, theme, and character arcs is off. I'd like to give a satisfying ending to those two character arcs. The beginning of the story implicitly emphasizes BG and travel as thematically important because it's a point of connection for the main characters and their families. However, the plot and resolution force the characters to stay in England for the foreseeable future (because of what happens in France), and thus they must abandon any hope of both natural history expeditions and visiting BG. While the lack of further natural history adventures is acceptable and leads to character and plot development, the inability to reconnect with BG leaves me feeling let down, particularly for my female protagonist, who is homesick and might have reasonably expected to travel there with the naturalist. It's an open emotional thread that needs a positive conclusion.

What needs to change in order to have satisfying character arcs without completely disrupting the plot or dismissing the importance of strong character backstory and setting?

Thank you!

[Edited to keep the question germane to the site.]

    Post Closed as "off-topic" by linksassin, Evil Sparrow, Cyn, Reinstate Monica, Galastel
7 Brevity
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6 Brevity
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5 Explained the motivation for this question.
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4 Clarification of criteria
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3 Edited to keep the questions germane to this site.
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2 Edited to keep the questions germane to this site.
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