Creating The Perfect Setting For Writing Fiction

Here is an article to help create a setting for your fictional writing.

When writing fiction, a writer spends a great deal of time concentrating on the plot of the story, the characterization of the people in the story and the beginning and endings of the story. However, another exercise that demands just as much attention is the development of the setting. Your characters and plot can go no where without the correct setting. And, your setting is not going to help your story at all unless you create the detail your reader needs in order to place him self in your characters' world.

Setting is very important for three reasons. First of all, your characters need an environment that will help deliver their story. It has to be a place that is in keeping with your plot and theme. If there is not a setting for the story to take place, there is no story.

Second, your setting will help you develop your plot. A plot that takes place in a sea side harbor is going to be a lot better developed for your story of the intricacies of industrializing the canning industry, than is a desert reservation. Keeping in mind what kind of story your are telling will automatically give you ideas about your setting. A fantasy story about mole people is not going to be very viable if it takes place in a desolate barren land with no hills.



Third, your characters will be better developed if their setting is clear to your readers. It is hard to understand why a character would lock themselves in a basement due to a phobia about tornadoes if he or she lives in a place where there are no tornadoes. Your readers just may consider this a bit too odd to keep reading. Hence, a cowgirl trying to save her family's ranch will be right at home in a western wilderness setting. The fact that she can walk in the fields at night and not be startled by the calls of owls and coyotes will tell your reader a lot about what kind of character she will become.

Now that we understand why our setting is so important, lets look at some ways to create a believable and workable setting. You don't want your setting to be too rigid. It may need to change as your story develops and your characters grow. That office building may need to start out as a storefront until your character has found his fortune to build the skyscraper of his dreams.

Always keep in mind your plot and your characters as you develop your setting. A reader is not going to understand a long monologue by a character about the beauty of dirty slums that he grew up in and caused his sister to die from rabies due to a bite from a rat living in the same apartment building. However, a remembrance atop a high rise apartment building about the first time a that girl made love to that very special boy during a hot summer night would cause such a monologue.

Be careful of details. You want to have enough details that your reader gets a clear picture of the surroundings. However, if you try to get too detailed, the prose of your story will become tedious and your reader will lose interest quickly. It is important to note that the sun is a burnt orange as it descends behind the skyline of your city. But, if you go to great lengths to describe the rays of the sun and the different shapes of the buildings that comprise your skyline, your reader just may forget that there is a vampire waiting in the basement of one of those buildings.

Setting is a great way to allow your reader to become part of your story. If done correctly is will pull your reader into your writing and absorb his or her thoughts completely. But, if overdone it will make your reader put your story down and forget it even exists. Give your reader some credit that he or she can figure some things out for themselves and let them munch happily on the events in your story while enjoying the scenery.

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