You want to write a novel, or you’re in the middle of writing…
Before you go any further, give some thought to your setting.
Your setting is just as important as your characters.
For example, I love novels set in ancient Rome. To me, the setting of ancient Rome is much more important than the plot… however, I’ve taught myself to think of setting as part of the plot. I encourage you to do the same. It will lift your stories out of the ordinary.
Think about your favorite novels — where are they set? Make a list of novels you love, and note their settings beside them.
In your novel, you don’t need to opt for exotic settings, although you may. You can set your novels right in your own city. For readers who live elsewhere (and even for local readers), your descriptions of time and place will add verisimilitude.
Once you’ve chosen a setting for your novel, develop the settings for your primary scenes. Make a list of the major scenes in your novel, and choose a setting for them. You’re a location scout for the movie of your novel. 🙂
For example, if you’re writing a mystery, give some thought to where the body will be found. I’ve just finished reading John Sandford’s latest novel, Bad Blood. the book opens with the victim being despatched in a grain elevator.
Not only is the setting unique and perfect for the tone of the novel, it’s also suitably creepy. The grains are soybeans, which will be turned into food…
The “Perfect” Setting Helps You to Write Your Book
You’ll find that when you devote time to your setting, finding locations for your scenes, thinking about how a location changes during the course of a season, and during the course of a day, your book will be much easier to write.
Your characters will quickly become real to you, because their setting is real. And because your characters are real people to you, your novel will also be much more fun to write.
Updated: May 22, 2015
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