Konnie and I have talked before about how different our everyday lives are, and the major part of that difference is how many people we live with. There is a huge difference between living alone and living with a houseful of kids and pets.
When we’re writing our stories, we always need to consider when lifestyles are different between characters. I have one story where the hero lives in what is essentially a commune. He lives in an almost mansion with a lot of other families. While the heroine lives with her aunt and uncle and cousins. This makes a huge impact on how they view the world, and how they relate to each other.
In another story I have, the hero and heroine have just eloped, but they don’t have a place of their own yet, so they are in her parents’ house, and its Saturday morning. Well, that’s a busy day for the heroine, because it’s both laundry day and baking day. And well, her family is considerably larger than his, let alone that he wasn’t the one who did the laundry for his family, then add in his mother isn’t much of a baker, and he’s shocked at how much his bride usually does every Saturday morning before breakfast.
If I’d had them living his family home, that morning she’d have been out of sorts trying to figure out what to do with her vast amount of extra time.
Of course, putting characters in unfamiliar situations is actually a very good writing ploy, but I have to point out, in the story I referenced above, I did put one character into a different environment.
Though I think most writers already know that changing a characters setting is often what a story is about. The writer starts with showing what is normal, then throws the character a curve ball and the whole story is about the character learning to cope and adjust to that curve ball.
If I stopped to analyze every book I’ve ever read and liked, I’d say that’s what all books are about. Even in romance that seems to hold, because in romance the curve ball usually includes finding the new chance at love.
Happy writing everyone! :)