We all know how important setting the scene is in drawing the reader into the world we're trying to create. God knows, I'm not the best at it but I keep trying. And I often look to other writers for inspiration and guidance, if only in their words.
I was recently reading an anthology about faeries. And I'm in the first chapter of the second story, and and the author is waxing wonderfully about fireflies and a bog. I love a good firefly image and I am really enjoying it. The following paragraph she says that the 'property is an hour out of Seattle.' I stopped cold.
There are no fireflies around Seattle. North, South, East, or West. None. Nada. Zip.
See, I'm a Washingtonian born and bred. And I've been to all corners of the state at one time or another and have never seen a firefly. Neither has anyone I asked. It's too cold, rainy, and unpredictable for lightening bugs. Lack of fireflies being one of our only weaknesses as a place to live.
And just for the record, I'd know one if I saw it because I loved them when I lived in Norfolk, VA as a child. I loved running through the yard in the darkness and catching them in a baby food jar.
Back to the book. The author lost me. Sure, I finished the story (it was a short story), but I never got lost in the story. I started looking for more inconsistancies. And it wasn't like I expected reality, it was a fantasy book, after all.
I was perfectly willing to suspend disbelief that there were fairies in Washington. I told you it was the perfect place to live. And I'll be watching for fairies in my garden. Unfortunately, there
won't be any fireflies.