Updated: Mar 9, 2021
When writing a story, the setting and location can be a key part of the plot. This can impact how the story unfolds or can serve as a common space for the characters, giving your readers a familiar scene throughout the story. In this blog I am going to share how locations can impact your story and tips to help your readers see what you see in your head.
The place settling for your story can be just about anything you want it to be. If you’re writing fantasy or science-fiction, the landscape and country can be whatever you can dream of. It is often easier to create that world using common things your readers easily recognize - forests, oceans, valleys, etc. are all great bases for your world and details can be added. Be sure to describe the scenes throughout, using color, emotion, and spacial references. Your readers will feel more immersed in the story if you can describe the scene well, not only using flat visual language. Try filling in the picture throughout the scene as well, so the readers notice important things as your character does.
If your story is taking place in the real world, using well known landmarks can be very useful and it gives you an opportunity to describe other details that are important to your story, such as what a specific character is doing in relation to the location or even the change between day-life and night-life. While there is a good bit of leeway in creative writing, be mindful of your location. Like keeping track of your character development, be careful introducing fantastical elements to the location, especially with no explanation. For instance, if your story is in NYC, and there is a random desert with no explanation, your readers will have a hard time following along.
Locations can also be used to shape your story. This can come into play when the topography of the land causes your characters hardship or influences the journey. Another instance is the course of a battle and how it plays into which side will win. This can bring an element to your story that can really draw your reader into the story and can even help make a simple story more complex.
Locations are just as important to your story as the characters. Keeping the continuity of your location will keep your readers engaged and lost in the world of your making! Happy writing!