I like my story with a lot of layers. In most of the creative writing classes I’ve taken, the how-to books I’ve read, and even in online chatrooms and face-to-face discussions with other writers, the issue of setting always comes up at some point in the conversation. Where is the story taking place? What time period? What’s the flavor of the story like?

While knowing what century your medieval castle is based off of is great, there is more to setting than the physical and geographical parts of it. Setting also has to do with backstory. Movies are especially good at this because the opening scenes in general give us a chance to interpret a number of things before any action takes place. You get a sweeping view of the landscape, maybe a few scattered conversations, some shots of the main character (so you know who to pay attention to) and some nice foreshadowing for later. In writing, you don’t necessarily get that time to ease the reader in before the action starts, but the concept is the same. Your main character has a history you will never see and a future you can only speculate about.

Continue reading

Advertisements