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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41
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7answers
5k views

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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6answers
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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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8answers
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Is it appropriate for me to write about the pandemic?

I'm a young writer who has been writing a story centring around a teenager's life and how it's changed via the coronavirus. She was skeptical about the legitimacy of the Pandemic until an important ...
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8answers
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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 ...
19
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9answers
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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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13answers
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How do I provide exposition on a magic system when no character has an objective or complete understanding of it?

I'm writing an urban fantasy series in which like many urban fantasy series there is a magic-and-powers system hidden from the broader world that the supernatural phenomena of the series run on. ...
18
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8answers
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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 ...
16
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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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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 ...
15
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5answers
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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 ...
14
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7answers
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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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How to clearly distinguish the settings of different scenes from each other, and make them “feel” different?

Background I've been working on doing nitty-gritty editor revisions of my detective novel in preparation for publishing, going over sentences and picking through details. In the course of the story, ...
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7answers
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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 ...
13
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2answers
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What are common attributes of the Steampunk genre?

These attributes could be character archetypes or traits, attributes of the setting, characteristics of plot or pacing, and broader themes. Essentially, I'd like to build a definition of the genre by ...
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3answers
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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 ...
11
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2answers
985 views

Out of this world… Giving it time?

I am starting to write a fantasy story. For the first time, i am using computer software to help organize my story. The program confronted me with a question. What is the birthday of a character? It'...
11
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6answers
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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 ...
11
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6answers
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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 ...
11
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4answers
866 views

How can I strike a balance between setting and plot?

I'm not a fan of Tolkien's work, but it's relevant to my question, so take it as a reference point. I love linguistics, culture, and worldbuilding, but sometimes have difficulty focusing on specific ...
10
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9answers
843 views

How can I break up a lengthy explanation?

I have a setting in one of my stories where a character has to describe a very long series of events, giving the history of an object so that others know more about it. This not only provides the ...
10
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7answers
380 views

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, ...
10
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5answers
890 views

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 ...
10
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2answers
136 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 ...
10
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4answers
669 views

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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5answers
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Deciding the setting: real or invented?

I'm preparing some material because I have the intention of writing a book. I'd do this in every type of work, but considering that I'm writing Crime Fiction, this is even more important. I've ...
9
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6answers
414 views

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....
9
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2answers
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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 ...
9
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1answer
176 views

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 ...
8
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3answers
639 views

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 ...
7
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4answers
163 views

How to describe a setting but without making it too cliche?

There is this one author technique that I find a bit cliche, which is matching the mood to the setting. This means that for example, when one character is upset, the skies are grey to match the mood ...
7
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2answers
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How important is scenery when you are writing?

When you are writing a book (or reading one for that matter), how important is it to closely detail the scenery or the setting? Does it just depend on the setting or the type of story, or is it always ...
7
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3answers
241 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
491 views

Can I say this about real countries in my fiction?

I am writing a visual novel and use a fictional country in "real-world" setting. Some cases have been bothering me and I'm not sure if it's legal to write this because it might be insulting(?): To ...
7
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4answers
163 views

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 ...
6
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5answers
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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 ...
6
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3answers
354 views

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? ...
6
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4answers
615 views

How early in the narrative should I start my book?

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 ...
6
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7answers
711 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 ...
6
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4answers
404 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
340 views

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 ...
6
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4answers
270 views

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 ...
6
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5answers
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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 ...
6
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3answers
116 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 ...
6
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3answers
651 views

Troubles with unfamiliar locations and settings based in the real world

I have a question: is it hard to write about a foreign country/place? I know that Dostoevsky was Russian, his themes and settings were inspired or entirely based by Russia/the Russian culture. But I ...
6
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2answers
388 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,...
5
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6answers
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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 ...
5
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6answers
527 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 ...
5
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4answers
310 views

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 ...
5
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3answers
127 views

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 ...
5
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4answers
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How can I make description more natural to me?

Description is a weakness in my fiction. My understanding is that the first priority in fiction is to tell the story. Setting does this by providing props and indicating character mindsets, either ...