Writing Tip #6: And, Where Are We?

The setting of your story is more than the time and the place.  It is an essential part of the whole and deserves your attention and creativity.  Reading,  I was told as a child, can take us to faraway places and times.  A carefully crafted setting can make us feel part of that place and time.  

Setting can control possibilities in the story.  If the story is set by a lake possible plot problems can arise around the water and boats and swimming.  Sunburn and dead fish smell.  Or the cool breeze off the water.  A sense that this is where I was meant to be.

Setting can include:

  • world, country, state, city and the counterparts in other worlds
  • time of day, month, and year
  • the flora and fauna of the place
  • culture
  • buildings/architecture 
  • transportation availability
  • the trappings of the lives of the people in the place and at that time

I’ll be writing more about these ideas in future posts in more detail.  In the meantime, think about the times you’ve thought, “This is it.  This is the place that’s me.”  Let me know what places came to mind.



About Penny

Penny Durant is the award-winning author of CHILD OF EL SALVADOR, narrative nonfiction set in the late 1980s in civil war-torn El Salvador and New Mexico. She has also published nine childrens books, and is a frequent workshop provider, novel writing teacher, editor, and critiquer. She has written two adult novels, "true life stories." Two of her pieces have been put to music by composer Michael Mauldin and performed in the region.
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