Aren't these great?!
So, "they have such character." It got me thinking about how it is cliche to say that setting is a character in a story, but it's cliche because IT'S TRUE.
I deliberately think of setting as another character in my stories and novels. That allows me to think about the interactions among the other characters and the setting and how the setting influences them. It makes me think very explicity about how I'm portraying setting and forces me to fully realize it on the page.
Does a setting change over the course of the story? Does it have an arc like any good character would? Definitely, yes. It doesn't change physically, usually, but the change is in the perceptions of the other characters, which supports the movement of the book.
I'm also thinking of any Coen brothers movie. Setting is so rich. I want my writing to be as rich ~ and entertaining ~ as a Coen brothers movie!