Questions tagged [setting]

'Setting' refers to the stage a story is told upon. This is usually defined as a location for the story, but it can also include feelings, events, and even central objects. Anything the story is grounded in.

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58 views

Transitional sections

As I mentioned in my other recent question, my novel in progress has three main locations. I feel those three settings are strong, fully imagined places, with interesting storylines. However, they ...
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Magic is the twist

It feels silly to say, but I've got myself into a bit of a bind of a side project. In a three-act structure (not what everyone uses, but a good reference point) you generally need to set up all ...
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what techniques or approaches can I use to explore distasteful concepts while also making them necessary?

In my story democracy crumbles in a nation, replaced by a powerful dictatorship. Our world has been invaded by servants of the elder god, Nyalathotep. Governments have been fighting back for years, ...
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Balancing setting, theme, and character arcs: how to deal with a setting that carries emotional weight but is left behind?

When writing a story, how do you find a good balance between the significance of different elements, such as plot, themes, and bold settings and characters, and the character arcs? In my case I have ...
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In fiction, can I write about Downing College, Cambridge? [duplicate]

I have included, in my fictional book, several mentions about Downing College, Cambridge. Now they have a fete on their lawns. Two Russians are killed there during the fete. No mention of staff ...
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Exhaustive research vs artistic license?

I'm working on a post-apocalypse novel set all over the world. I'm fairly flexible on where some of the events take place, but there are often specific requirements on the look, layout, general region ...
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5answers
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How to make a setting relevant?

One piece of feedback that I got on a story I wrote is that my settings feel irrelevant, or that the entire book could have been a phone call. I am not sure how to go about fixing this. The characters,...
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Any advice on creating fictional locations in real places when writing historical fiction?

I am currently working on a historical fiction novel set during the tail end of the Harlem Renaissance, in the 1930s. As such, I would really like to have the story take place in Harlem. However, the ...
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How do I write real-world stories separate from my country of origin?

I live in India. And the stories I write don't want to. The thing is, as you all might already know, my country has an extremely- excessively, perhaps- rich cultural and historical heritage. It's ...
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How can I effectively research for a high-fantasy setting?

When you write in a modern day setting, you research the culture, climate, location and history of that setting. You can do the same for historical fiction or low-fantasy settings based on real places....
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Is it acceptable to use props I saw in a movie in my story?

I was watching a movie and, in multiple scenes, the characters were using a set of coffee cups that I haven't seen before. I realized my Main Character is the type of person who would have and use ...
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How do we write a story about genocide committed by a fascist government without falling into the “Nazi Germany” cliché? [closed]

Too often, when people make a story about genocide committed by a fascist government, the story often devolves into a Nazi Germany cliché, especially when the story is set in a modern or futuristic ...
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Finding out about other countries' military day-to-day

Where does one go to find out about the day-to-day of military life? In countries other than my own? I don't mean combat - I mean the boring routine. Basic training. What kind of food is served in the ...
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When writing in a school context without ever having been to school, how do I make sure that my story is accurate within school context?

I read a lot of YA fiction, a lot of which happens to take place in schools. Recently, an idea jumped into my head for a YA-ish story and told me that it was going to take place in a school. The idea ...
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Are fictional inventions trademarked?

I am wondering if I can include fictional inventions like the power suits in Iron Man. I believe that "power-suits" are used legally by a lot of media; however, what if the power-suit you're ...
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Is a nuclear apocalypse cliche? [duplicate]

My post-apocalyptic novel occurs in 2122. In canon events, around the year 2018, after many years of global war, a chain reaction caused the launching of all the world's nuclear missiles and after ...
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Writing short stories in an original world setting [closed]

I'm writing short stories in a Fantasy world setting I have created — medieval times, magic, dragons, etc. People who are familiar with such a world may not find a problem reading a short story set in ...
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How to introduce a foreign idea to readers

I'm writing a book with a world similar to ours but at the same time is very different. I don't know how to do it smoothly without overloading the reader with information but at the same time giving ...
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How much description is too much?

A companion question for How much description is necessary, how much description is too much? I close my eyes, I can visualise my MC's bedroom (for example) in tiniest detail: the accent wallpaper, ...
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How much description is necessary?

I have trouble imagining things. With me everything is blurred, as if I were almost blind. That's why I find it hard to describe things. For example, the protagonists enter a castle. I have a very ...
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4answers
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How important is the apocalypse in a post-apocalyptic story?

I am writing a story set after an apocalyptic event that has left only 0.1% of the world population intact. I originally wrote a zombie-like apocalypse but simplified it to a plague-like disease, as I ...
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In the background of the Future

As I've mentioned multiple times, I'm writing a military sci-fi novel. The focus of the story is war, and that happens far away from Earth. However, I'm starting with my MC's "normal", on Earth. It is ...
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of setting a story in a made up country, compared to a real one?

I have story ideas that involve civil wars or revolutions happening while a character is travelling. I was wondering what would be the advantages and disadvantages of setting such a story in a made up ...
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First quarter friends

As I've mentioned before, I'm working on a military sci-fi novel. Here's the trouble with the military: you don't spend all of your service, start to finish, with the same people. Not all the people ...
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How do you normalize a taboo custom in a setting that most readers would not agree with?

This setting' world is populated by witch covens that function as both royal houses and political entities. They are matriarchial, with witches had the head of families who directly control their ...
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How can I establish my story's setting in the first chapter?

In the first chapter of my trilogy's first act introduces the protagonist, other major players in the series and the series' setting. The bulk of my trilogy takes place in a city that has been ravaged ...
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How do you tell the reader that the setting is normal modern day?

I am getting some feedback on my writing but one of the questions that come back is that the readers are not sure about the setting. White the story was marked as fantasy, nothing fantastic had happen ...
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Writing a short story set in a place I’ve never been

I’m writing a science fiction type short story set in Germany (actually Stuttgart). To some extent the location isn’t that important- it could be set anywhere but setting it there appeals to me and ...
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108 views

Researching a hospital setting

I want to use a hospital (specifically, Walter Reed in Bethesda) as a setting. How best do authors research the daily routine? Is there someone I can reach out to such as a public relations person or ...
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How to revise your “setting bible”

When it comes to revising/reformatting a setting bible (for a video game) to make the setting more internally consistent and better organized, which place is the best part of a setting bible to look? ...
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How often should I remind my readers of the setting?

My story takes place in a city during a hard winter: streets are covered with snow, the wind is blowing, the river is frozen. I describe all the setting in the very first scene. My character leaves ...
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Is it Ok to make up places if I want the reader to think it’s set in the real world?

What I’m doing is making a story in the medieval times and I wanted to make up a village and have my characters be there and travel around there but do I have to make everything around there in the ...
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Referencing modern pop culture in science fiction

A geek today is quite likely to reference the pop culture of 30 years ago: "Do or do not, there is no try", "Beam me up, Scotty" and "Ground control to Major Tom" are easily and commonly recognisable. ...
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Character, plot, and setting conflicts

I'm working through the Sanderson youtube classes on writing fantasy and he discusses the idea that conflict can arise between any two (or three) of the three legs of a story - plot, character, ...
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Presenting unrelated or vaguely-related stories in a setting in backwards chronological order by epoch?

I'm thinking of a science-fiction or science-fantasy setting wherein modern humanity colonizes a new homeworld in a classical star system, bombs themselves back to a Neolithic technology level, and ...
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2answers
318 views

Guidance on pacing the introduction of new characters

I'm adding a qualifying question to the end of this question. So I have (let's say) two types of feedback in my beta critiques and real-life writing clubs. One is that I have floating heads syndrome,...
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I'm writing a thesis/novel. What should I pay attention to on a possible research trip?

For my BA degree, I am required to complete a thesis project in the field of fiction writing, and I plan to write a novel. With the idea I'm pursuing right now, I plan for it to have elements of ...
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4answers
143 views

Housing fictional characters

I am writing a fantasy book based in the present day New Orleans, LA area and I was wondering how authors create real setting homes for their fictional characters. I've tried putting my fictional ...
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4answers
187 views

How can I make a setting which shows something?

I am trying to write novels where the setting plays a large part. I want the setting to naturally and passively show a truth to the reader. Sometimes it is easy to create such a setting, and other ...
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Describing a sport in a fantasy setting

In one scene in my YA fantasy my characters are at a party on a beach. One piece of the setting is a group of teenagers playing a game, which my main characters later join. The game itself is not the ...
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Should I be concerned with my fiction writing containing accidental prophecies of real world events?

I'm writing a book (only a hobby, but I hope I can publish it one day). I've started writing a while ago and setting was somewhat of a near-future of an alternative reality. In my book, political ...
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4answers
263 views

Finding a thematic setting

Allow me to explain what I mean by 'thematic setting'. I'm talking about a setting which, simply by having the story located in it, shows the reader something: ideally a message - or theme - that you ...
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Creating a fictional place within an actual city?

I am writing a thriller novel set in St. Louis a lot of the important scenes occur at a university. I am familiar with the city because I live close to it but I don't think I know enough about the ...
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Can I use prominent people in history to as characters in my fiction?

I am a little puzzled. I want to set my story in a real era that happened; like say, the American civil wars during Lincoln's time, and involve the then prominent figures like Lincoln and McClellan as ...
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2answers
202 views

Is it okay to never explicitly state where your story takes place?

Suppose my story takes place in a town called Williams. It's never stated, though, whether Williams is a town in the USA, or in England, or wherever. It's just mentioned that it's a fictional place. ...
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502 views

Does the concept come before other “literary devices” in philosophical science fiction?

I have read in a few books about writing science fiction that a compelling concept should override considerations for character, and possibly other things like setting or plot. I have the notion to ...
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2answers
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Starting writing + Resolving a conflict in my timeline [closed]

First of all, I'd like to say that I am as novice a writer as they come. My english is bad, and I've never ever written a fictional story beforehand. However, it's now been years since my mind first ...
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4answers
712 views

Why are names in fantasy novels often “original”?

In the vast majority of fantasy novels, the characters' names are somewhat original (Bilbo, Kvothe, Daenerys, Pug and so on). Some authors use special naming convention, like Robin Hobb who uses a ...
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4answers
332 views

Describing big cities and using slang words while writing [closed]

I've been trying to write a book that takes place somewhere in America, maybe New York, Chicago, or another large city. But the problem is, I live in Hawaii and have never been to a city that large. ...
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2answers
158 views

Are there any problems using the real-life address of a building if the building is still standing?

I'm writing a story that takes place in the future, sometime around the 2200s, give or take a few decades. The main characters live in San Francisco, in a repair shop that's been built right on top of ...