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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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
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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 ...
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Does it make sense to set a sword & sorcery fantasy in a post-apocalyptic world on Earth?

Fantasy worlds are usually set in a separate world, time, and space from our own. Many are set in an alternate world and dimension. They feature medieval-like setting and technology. Yet some fantasy ...
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When to start a story?

I've just recently finished building the setting and plot of a fantasy coming of age story. I'm happy with the way it turned out; the character arcs feel compelling and the setting supports the plot ...
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Adding a character from present-day Earth to a fantasy/scifi setting

The average present-day human whisked away to a fantasy and/or scifi world is a common trope. It can be used well, or end up in boring stories. I feel like this trope is a bit overdone, but still ...
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Should the world be based on the characters or the characters based on the world? [duplicate]

What are the pros and cons of basing the world on the characters found in it and conversely what are the pros and cons of basing the characters on the world in which they live?
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5answers
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How do I write what I don't know? [closed]

I wanted to write a short story about a man who visits China. I have never been to China; I have never even been to Asia. The story is meant to be realistic and accurate so just imagining what it ...
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1answer
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Writing Science Fiction when the writer is from a society which is not very scientifically advanced

When a writer belongs to a society which is not very scientifically advanced, creating organizations like NASA and characters like indigenous Scientists would look terribly out of place. And, if the ...
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1answer
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Help in deciding setting [closed]

I'm writing a fantasy story, I'm still planning the plot and characters, I have an idea about the setting, but I'm divided about the technological level of the setting. It is more of an adventure ...
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If I use a real location for the setting of my book - Do I have to use existing schools or can I make them up?

I'm writing a book and want to set the story in an existing location, such as Manchester, England. Does that mean that I have to use an existing school from Manchester, or can I make the school up? ...
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How to create Feeling with Setting

I have a passion for setting. I've heard you should write about what your passionate about. Now when I say passion I mean I like to visualize the fantastic place the author is describing to form a ...
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548 views

What makes a bestseller - Writing or Setting?

Note: I define 'setting' as where and when a novel takes place, as well as what the genre entails. It is the background to the picture of the story. I realize there are a lot of factors that ...
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5answers
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Should I force-developing a story to a setting I have?

I have invented a setting I think is kinda cool, but I have no story for it. Now the question is - should I develop a story for this setting or is it bound to be a bad story, because not developed for ...
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Real cities & placing fictional cities

I'm currently experimenting with a story and its setting for a comic. The overall setting is simple: it is set in the real world, though slightly different (towards science-fiction), and primarily in ...
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Horror story for a game - how to create dread?

I am trying to devise a short story for a 3d horror game. Here are my requirements: There must be no tangible people/creatures for the player to interact with (the player can be any sort of living ...
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How do sci-fi stories hold up if their premise or details become discredited?

I've been playing with the idea of writing a sci-fi story that would resemble those written roughly 50-100 years back: Things we normally would laugh out of court today, like Jules Verne's moon trip, ...
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Real-Life Setting versus Fictional - Can They Attain the same Realism?

My assumption here is that a novel set in the current time and world seems more realistic to a reader than a novel with a fictional setting. The reader has the ability to say, "that could be true." In ...
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How to come up with the setting for the fiction novel?

I have this problem - I generally dislike fantasy worlds and science fiction set up in space or different planets. So I don't want to write about such things. I always loved more grounded stories ...
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Best blind sequence? [closed]

I'm trying to write a story in which the sun has essentially gone out and visibility is constantly limited, and sometimes completely gone. Being a very visual person, I'm finding it hard to describe ...
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3answers
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What are the ethics of using real-world house addresses in historical fiction?

I am editing a novel manuscript for a client of mine. It's a historical fiction set in 1948, so not that long ago. The main character lives in a house above a cafe that I believe is fictional within ...
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Is there such a thing as a “setting sketch” for a science fiction writing?

I took a look tonight at the post titled What are the pros and cons of building the setting before the characters and story? It answered questions that I had concerning setting being more important ...
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Storyboard a Novel?

Sometimes I'm a contrarian and like to think things through backward. What about thinking first of a movie and then writing a novel about it? Would it make sense to storyboard and script a novel ...
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2answers
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Is having a specific town for a setting in a young-adult novel a bad thing?

I'm writing a young-adult story, that is quite clearly set in my home town, because this is where I grew up as a young adult and it is easier to write about. Everyone speaks English, but speaks French ...
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3answers
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In a thriller, should my famous cities be familiar, or fresh?

The bigger, and more famous, a city, the more it tends to show up in thrillers. The biggest ones - New York, London, Paris, Tokyo - have been set-pieces in any number of thrillers, and I can assume ...
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What are the pros and cons of building the setting before the characters and story

I have a science-fiction setting I have been kicking around for sometime, but I am not sure how to go about fleshing out events or characters that would make for stories within this setting. What are ...
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2answers
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Is it better to make clear immediately in which country/continent the story is taking place?

I'm writing a short story, and nowhere in it I explicitly mention the country in which it is taking place. The only time I mention something about the country is when I refer to a historical event ...
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How to tell or retell basic character and setting information in a series?

I am writing a short children's novel and I want to expand this into a series made of several short novels. I intend to write the whole series at once so that the internal universe is consistent and ...