Setting Tutorial

A common misconception about setting is that it's nothing more than a backdrop for story events to take place, when in fact it's one of the most versatile (yet underused) elements of fiction. Not only does it anchor the reader in events as they unfold, the right setting can help characterize the story’s cast, deliver backstory without the dreaded info dump, emphasize the story’s theme, convey emotion, and supply tension, among other things. One of those "other things" is the very important task of pulling readers into the story.

Above all else, writers want readers to be engaged. To do this, we must make them feel part of each scene. Describing a setting well involves so much more than plucking out a few random details and slapping them on the page. It’s about selecting details that create a sensory experience; descriptions that offer textures and smells often trigger memories for the reader, unearthing emotions and making them feel involved with what's happening in the story. We also want to do more with less, and use the setting to advance the story on macro and micro levels. Here are a few helpful tips for using your setting to engage readers:

Choose The Right Setting For Each Scene


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