"The corpse must shock not only because it is a corpse but also because, even for a corpse,
it is shockingly out of place, as when a dog makes a mess on a drawing room carpet.”
- W. H. Auden
It was raining again the next morning, a slanting grey rain like a swung curtain of crystal beads."
- Raymond Chandler
Your protagonist must have his locale live and breathe as a fellow character.
Setting can frame mood, meaning, and thematic connotations.
. “The moon went slowly down in loveliness; she departed into the depth of the horizon,
and long veil-like shadows crept up the sky through which the stars appeared."
– H. Rider Haggard
"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas
that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch.
On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks."
-Raymond Chandler, "Red Wind"
HOW TO MAKE YOUR SETTING A CHARACTER
1.) WHAT MAKES YOUR SETTING UNIQUE TO YOUR CHARACTER, TO YOU
Beyond description, beyond local foods,
find what makes your locale merge into the very fabric of your characters.
2.) HISTORY IS PERSONAL
How did New Orleanians experience the first Mardi Gras after WWII?
How did returning veterans who had survived Hell and brought some of it back with them?
3.) SEE THROGH CHARACTERS' EYES.
More powerful than infusing a character with a strong opinion about his place and time
is infusing two of them with conflicting opinions.
How would a returning veteran like Col. James Stewart view the masks of Mardi Gras
as opposed to a returning O.S.S. agent who made his sociopathic face a mask to better blend in and kill his targets?
4.) LINK DETAILS TO EMOTIONS
What thoughts might pass through a bomber pilot's mind as he views elegant, though decrepit,
New Orleans streets when he flew above similar streets over Europe
5.) MAKE USE OF THE TIME OF YEAR
Who has wondered what it is like in New Orleans?
Imagine that a literal demon is walking among the partiers?