Setting is one of the most important elements in fiction writing. If your readers don’t know where the story is taking place, they’ll get lost and confused, and it will be hard for them to enjoy your tale.
Some stories have simple settings based on real places. You can use your hometown or a major city. A setting can also be completely dreamed up, which is often necessary in speculative fiction writing. You can keep a setting in the background, referring to it only when necessary, or you can bring it to the forefront and allow it to function as a character in your story.
- Take some time to think about your story's particular setting (it's helpful to use the setting of a story you're currently writing!). If this is a place you have been, you might look at old photographs, maps, or diary entries. If you have not been there, check out some books or look online.
- Start with sight, which is for many of us the most immediate sense. In a notebook, write down every image that comes to mind, whether it pertains to your story or not. Free associate. It doesn't have to make sense or be grammatical. Just get down as much as you can.
- Repeat the above for taste, smell, sound, and touch. Again, don't be afraid of unconventional answers. You never know what might end up in your final story.
- In one line sum up the mood you hope to evoke in your readers through your setting. Is it a feeling of loneliness, menace, nostalgia, contentment?
- Look at the lists you've compiled. Which elements will contribute to this dominate mood? Which elements will complicate that mood? Which will distract from it? Now, write a 500 description of your setting, and post it below.
Be sure to make a comment on a classmate's post for full credit.