Resource Spotlight: Setting

Here’s a handy little book if you need some clarification on putting your setting together, Setting: How to create and sustain a sharp sense of time and place in your fiction by Jack M. Bickham. From the beginning, the author helped me understand that what we are often taught about setting is not necessarily the complete picture as it is an element of the story that is not often discussed in writing workshops or guidebooks. Setting is a lot more complicated than I gave it credit before diving into this resource. I’ll admit that I have fallen into the traps of either making up a town and neglecting to accommodate the real surrounding geographical area or placing events in a real town without doing sufficient research to keep the town true to reality. Some other salient points brought up in this volume: Be sure you know when you can and … Keep reading!

Maker of worlds…

One of the elements of writing that I enjoy is creating new worlds, or at least modifying our existing world for the sake of the story. Of course, when I say “world”, I merely mean the environment in which the story takes place. Some authors create elaborate landscapes full of rich history, as J. R. R. Tolkien did in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Others limit the scope of their universe to just a few walls, like the train in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. The length of your tale will alter the boundaries you can create; a short story of fewer than 10,000 words does not have the space to create something like Middle Earth (unless the world you’re making is itself the character), and a novel of 50,000 words or more will almost certainly consist of a good deal more than one or two … Keep reading!