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Can't Resist the Mist, Setting as Character

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

When we talk about setting as character, I believe mist is the best setting of all. Think about the book you are currently reading or writing. What is it about the setting that intrigues you? One of the reasons I read and write books set during the Regency period ( England 1801-1811) is that the setting calls to me. The beautiful manor homes and castles. The gorgeous gowns, the sexy cravats and Hessian boots. But the mist calls to me more than anything. I have a thing for any setting in any era that has fog rolling in or out. Mist so dense you can't see far enough in front of you to take a step and know you'll be safe.

I love a great mystery/suspense novel. I add a lot of these elements to my romances. So is the fog thing something strictly for mystery/suspense folks or are other readers and writers drawn to it? Other genres? You bet!

I know horror writers have got to love it!  "Everyone thinks of it as a harmless lightning storm. When Dave Drayton notices a strange mist on the lake, he thinks nothing of it." The Mist

 There are other ways to invoke mist that are romantic and not scary. Any Pride and Prejudice fan will remember and love this photo. Regency period! Also hangs on my wall at home. If I have a scene without mist in it at sometime in the novel I'm writing then I must be off my game.
So is the mist forming in your mind yet? Have you thought of something that evokes mystery/suspense, or horror, or romance? 

And then there is the mist of all mists in the Sherlock Holmes books and movies. Nothing like being out on the moor with the Hound of the Baskervilles or in a Game of Shadows.

Let's see there is also Sharyn McCrumb's, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Christina Skye's, Bride of the Mist, Laurie Alice Eakes, Lady in the Mist, and Kathleen Morgan's, Child of the Mist.

And some of us consider ourselves seat-of-the-pants writers. But author, Jo Beverley calls it, Flying into the Mist. Regency writer, mist, hmm . . .

I simply can't resist the mist! How about you?  What are some of your misty favorites?


  1. Jillian, we're kindred spirits! I love, love, LOVE misty settings! In fact, I was so disappointed when I traveled to England a few years back that we didn't have one foggy morning. But we did in Paris! As I approached Notre Dame, the gargoyles peered out of the mist first. Too cool! Creating a setting with mist is so very cool. Because somewhere in there, a castle is sure to sit. :)

  2. We must be kindred spirits and I bet we have a few others out there that can relate. I was in Oxford as a student many years ago and smart person that I am went to the library to write a paper on Jack the Ripper; who else. I've always been a little too interested in why people do the things they do. Had to walk home in a heavy mist by myself that night. Brilliant!

  3. Oh yes! In my book The Dragon Forest, there is a mysterious mist in the center of the forest that covers the lake.

    There is just something about atmosphere that really draws a reader in.

    For movies, Blade Runner (no mist...) has so much atmosphere and mysterious lighting as well as brilliant art direction! A fantastic movie!

    After seeing that film, now I look for atmosphere in movies and books!

    Great post, Jillian!

  4. Hi Ruth!
    I'm so glad to hear about mist in The Dragon Forest. Yippee! :) And your comment on atmosphere is perfect. I still haven't seen Blade Runner. I've watched bits and pieces and something has always interrupted me. Will have to try again.

  5. Oh yeah!

    I often want to stop and take photos of ground fog rolling in around dawn, especially across a field, most especially across a horse pasture.

    Did you mention LA Eakes Lady of the Mist? (Boy I wish I owned that title!)

    thanks Jillian - always nice to enjoy the fact you just gave me a good idea. gotta run

  6. Hey Deb,
    I thought you might be a mist lover.:) If you look at the books I put in the post you'll see Lady in the Mist along with some others. And don't forget you can still use the title. In fact, use Lady of the Mist, since LAE's is Lady in the Mist. Titles aren't copyrighted anyway, thank God. Do you know how many Chameleon's are out there? :) Enjoy the mist.