Weird question, isn’t it? But if you don’t know the answer, your characters might not be 3D.
Your location affects your other characters and plot every bit as much as your protagonist, antagonist, awesome sidekicks, eponymous heroes, or sarcastic love-interests.
This is a really simple, helpful way to understand “show, don’t tell.”
Your characters didn’t appear the moment you write the first page. Just like in your own life, they were influenced by someone else—for good or ill. Understanding why your characters respond the way they do is crucial to character development, and knowing who influenced them is a key part of that.
Your writing life will never be ideal, and that’s okay. It won’t be for your characters, either. After all, dealing with the mess is what makes a great story.
Bear with me. As I write this post, I’m more than a little mad. And I don’t mean “crazy,” either. I encountered a fellow the other day who spoke things so poisonous, so deadly to the creative mind, that I suspect he’s already left a battalion of writer-corpses in his wake.
And I’m not staying silent about it anymore.