Why Choosing Your Setting is Important
Choosing your setting is important for a number of reasons.
Firstly you want your characters to carry out their actions and plans in a place that is interesting and different in some way, a place that draws the reader’s attention and paints a picture of somewhere unique and full of possibilities.
Secondly you want your setting to provide conflict. Any setting can be pretty, but a setting that gets in your character’s way, trips them up and delivers danger or intrigues curiosity is so much more than pretty, it’s interesting. Interesting settings can provide conflict by obstacle, keeping your character from the place or person they’re trying to reach. It can also provide conflict by interfering with your characters and changing the course of your story…think walking into a dinner and finding a dead body, or drowning in a river only to wake in a new world. Your setting needs to be important, and it needs to be where important things happen.
Another aspect of setting is technology and consistency. Knowing what year, decade, or century you are operating in changes technology, language and custom. If you’re telling a story back in the 1920s you won’t have cell phones, color televisions or transport that can easily take you across the country. You also won’t have people using today’s slang and wearing short shorts and midriff tops while chewing gum.
Consistency is knowing where and when your world is, deciding what is normal for your story, and sticking to it. You can push the boundaries of what is actually correct if you decide to write fiction from sometime in the past if you are consistent and if you establish that although your story is taking place in a past and real time, the customs and technologies in your story are not restricted to actual history.
Lastly, if your world is a completely different plain to our human present or past, then you need to decide what fits into your created landscape. For example if you’re going for a medieval-type world then researching attire, language and custom will make what you’re writing about all the more real and believable.
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Genre – YA Paranormal Romance
Rating – PG-13+
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