Writing About a House in Fiction

A house is a form of dwelling where people live, often with a family or a group of families. It can vary in size, shape and appearance from a thatched cottage to a Victorian mansion. A house usually has living spaces, dining areas and kitchens, and it may have a garden or backyard. It may also have a garage for cars or a shed for gardening equipment and tools. Houses are generally built from wood, masonry or concrete, and they are outfitted with plumbing, electrical and heating systems. Some houses are a single dwelling for a family unit, while others, called townhouses or row houses, contain multiple family units in the same structure.

When writing about a house in fiction, the author needs to consider its location, unique features, atmosphere, emotional response, personal memories and historical context. These can all help to create a vivid image of the house and guide the reader’s perception of it.

In the United States, the term “house” is synonymous with “home,” although it can also refer to a structure used for commercial purposes. “Home” carries connotations of domestic comfort and family ties, while “house” is more neutral. Nonetheless, both words can be used interchangeably in most contexts.

The first step in creating a history of a house is to identify the period in which it was built. This can be done by examining the house’s silhouette and architecture, as well as its furnishings and decorations. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help researchers piece together the history of a house.

One of the most valuable sources for researching a house is the National Archives’ website. Here, you can find information about the house’s framers’ vision for the newly created Congress, major developments in institutional powers and duties, and more. The site also has a searchable calendar of House events, biographies of the more than 11,000 people who have served in the House, and lists of House leadership.

When describing a house in fiction, the author should consider its architecture, location, size, color, materials, landscaping, furniture, decor and lighting. These can all contribute to a character’s emotional response, whether it is comfort and safety in their own home or fear and unease in a stranger’s house. The atmosphere of a house can also be heavily influenced by weather, as sunlight streaming through windows can make it seem warm and inviting, while darkness and a thunderstorm can create an ominous and foreboding mood.

Moreover, the author should also pay attention to the emotional responses of their characters toward the house. For example, a character’s memories of happy family dinners or traumatic experiences in their childhood home can add a sense of depth to the story. In addition, the writer should also include details that describe the house’s atmosphere, such as a cozy, welcoming ambiance or a chilly, eerie vibe. Finally, the writer should consider the historical context of the house by providing facts and dates about its construction and occupants.