Tag Archive: setting

February 1, 2019 ~ Where the Heck are We?!

February 1, 2019 10:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Tell Your Story by Using Setting

I always like to know where a story takes place (the setting). Whether it’s a made up location or a real one, a few details about the physical environment helps to ground me in the story. It’s the question I always ask: “Where in the world, or the universe, are we?” Are we on planet earth? If so, where? What does it look, feel, and smell like? Are we on a distant, undiscovered planet? The same set of questions apply. So, I say, add those little details in but, of course, don’t overdo it. Drop the name of the town, or city, or state early on. Time of year? Time of day or night? Current weather? Then the reader knows what they are dealing with. Include descriptions of what it looks like and any weather features for the time of year the story takes place. All of it adds context and texture.

A story set in Seattle is very different from a story set in Phoenix. Characters who live their lives in the Pacific Northwest deal with an abundance of cloudy skies and wet weather. Those living in the Southwest experience tremendous heat and aridity. A character living in Minnesota survives bitterly cold winters and humid summers. These extremes should affect how the characters behave. This also speaks to who they are as a person, their internal makeup. (more…)