Stone home with white picket fence and trees
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Homes in Fiction

Especially during the dog days of summer, when I feel like I’ll melt the moment I step outside, I am grateful for my air-conditioned apartment. Homes in areas with four seasons have heating, cooling, well-insulated walls, and a strong, water-tight roof. In the United States, homes tend to have yards with a lot of greenery and trees, and sometimes even a white picket fence.

Times like this I think about what it would like to live in other parts of the world where the weather behaves differently. Homes are also different in other parts of the world as well as different time periods. Clearly a large difference in the quality or style of homes is linked to the industry and development of the country or area. Stone homes take longer to build than log homes, and a cave or tent takes significantly less technology to establish than an apartment building or a lake house.

What Makes a Home

A home is essential for every living creature. Even the homeless have certain areas were they routinely return to for the sense of security and protection. One of the fundamental needs of humans and animals alike is shelter. Every home needs to be a place that protects from the elements, from possible predators, and offers a location to return to.

Other qualifications of a home are: easily accessible for the residents, sufficient room to raise offspring, and a location where other primary needs are easily met such as access to food and water. While most people choose to build structures on plots of land, this isn’t a requirement for a place of residence.

Homes in Writing

With hundreds of possibilities, why not consider making homes differently in your fiction? This may become essential to the plot, or just add interesting differences that effect the process of the story. Imagine all the ways a different kind of home would effect a story.

A character used to living in a cave would have significantly different reactions to a castle than a spoiled rich kid would. The home would shape a character and influence the story. What if humans didn’t have the most developed homes in a world? How would that effect the availability of our homes, how would the developed homes look, and who would occupy them?

Humans could find a way to live under water. Living in treehouses may become an option to utilize the most space. There have already been little movements in living spaces. Basement houses were popular once, with the roof only a few feet off the ground. Tiny houses are a popular trend now. But in fiction, we can explore beyond what has already been done.

What are the most interesting home you have seen? And what is the best home you can imagine?

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