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Thursday, June 12, 2014

@KellenBurden Shares His Experience With Choosing a Setting #AmWriting #Thriller #WriteTip

There is nothing more magical than snow falling on a city. All the dirt and dinge and noise and movement is cleaned, shined, muffled and stopped. Falling against the sparkling lights and piling in the gutters and driven by the wind. See a couple, holding hands in Central Park as the snow blankets the trees. See a single rider on a black horse in a clearing in Tennessee as the flakes stream down like an omen. Or maybe it’s hot. 120 degrees in the middle of the day in July in Arizona, the sun looming and terrible in the washed out sky as your hero stands sweating through his T-shirt, holding a beer that has gone flat and warm an hour ago.  Maybe it’s hot like Miami. Maybe like Arizona. Maybe Afghanistan.
Choosing a setting is obviously vital to the way that your story plays out and is perceived by the audience. Sleepless in Muncie, Indiana would have been a totally different movie. Different settings breed different characters. They hold different challenges and offer different benefits. Try having a running gun battle through New York City without police involvement. Good Luck working out the specifics of that. But on the flipside, try waving down a cab in Tempe, Arizona. Also not going to happen. When choosing a setting it’s important to have a basic working knowledge of the area you’re talking about, whether it’s through independent research (blogs about the area, reading books that take place there etc.) or from having visited the place. You can then fill the gaps by interviewing people who live there, (calling information booths, or local libraries is a good place to start). By doing those things, you can talk about a town or area without deeply offending its inhabitants or drawing your reader out of the world you’re creating.
With that being said, no research you could ever do would come anywhere close to having lived in a place. No one else can know what the train sounds like, screaming past your window at 4 in the morning. No guide book will tell you about what the Park smells like when the ducks come back in spring, or about the feeling of watching a flash flood swallow the street in front of your house. Interviews are alright, but they don’t measure up to seeing a city 24/7 for 365. They don’t measure up to falling asleep to its sounds, having them permeate your dreams and then waking with them again in the morning. Building that from scratch isn’t easy. Not impossible of course. Obviously, J.K. Rowling has never been to Hogwarts, and I’m fairly certain that J.R.R. Tolkien had never been to middle earth, but even Tolkien and Rowling had places that they built their fantasy worlds off of. A structure that they used to compile a place of their own. The point is, to be a believable, successful writer you have to be able to put your reader in your world. To make them feel with their whole bodies, the things that your character is experiencing. It’s a tall order when you yourself have not done these things.

Sebastian Parks is drowning in a flood of his own creation. Dishonorably discharged from the Army, he’s wracked with night terrors and an anger that he can’t abate. Unemployable and uninterested in anything resembling a normal job, Parks makes his living in fugitive apprehension, finding wanted felons on Facebook and thumping them into custody with his ex-military buddies John Harkin and Eric “Etch” Echevarria. When the body of a teenage Muslim boy is found in front of a downtown Denver nightclub Parks, Harkin and Etch are called on to do what they do best: Find bad men and make them pay. 
First-time author Kellen Burden serves up edgy humor, brutal action and characters you can’t get enough of. Flash Bang will keep you turning pages until the end.
Received “Honorable Mention at Los Angeles Book Festival 2014″
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller, Mystery
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Kellen Burden on Facebook


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