The Importance of Setting
This month, I’m participating in the Teens Can Write, Too Blog Chain for the first time.
The blog topic is: “How much does setting affect your novels and stories? What are some of your favorite ways to portray setting?”
I’ve always considered a novel’s setting to be one of it’s most important characteristics because it provides an environment in which the reader can immerse his or herself. Although characters are, of course, the most significant aspect of a story, their surroundings can mold their actions, reveal their strengths and flaws, and serve as an obstacle or a blessing.
Since my novel is a fantasy, the setting is imaginary and is still under construction. However, it’s based on real locations and terrain. I’ve always been fascinated by the Middle East and Egypt: the tantalizing mystery, the depth, the vivid color, the customs, the traditions. Thus, the city my main character lives in is located on the edge of a desert. This, of course, affects the way people dress and how they look. The women (and some of the men as well) wear kohl eyeliner and they dress in light, colorful, and comfortable clothing (I researched ancient Persian clothing to get a good visual). Sometimes, they also cover the bottom half of their faces with a scarf to avoid breathing in sand and dust. They have tan skin and dark hair. You can get a bit of a feel for the setting by reading an old excerpt from the first draft of my novel (please be forewarned that most of the excerpt has undergone major changes).
I plan on drawing a map to help me clarify where everything is located (which I will definitely post here). I also want to incorporate different types of terrain, so that each of the three kingdoms have their specific set of advantages and disadvantages. I hope to find a way to incorporate mountains, rivers, hills, forests to make the world richer and more exciting.
Additionally, I’ve learned it’s important to avoid “info-dumping,” which is difficult, especially in fantasy and science fiction novels. I’m currently trying to fit in bits and pieces about the setting, history, and traditions of the land where it would naturally make sense to mention them instead of going into long-winded explanations about the political and social system of the kingdoms. Basically, I aim to illustrate the setting the way my characters see it and reveal details as my characters think them.
Here are the other blog chain participants:
Want to follow our blog chain? Here are the participating parties, day by day
September 5–http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com–Musings From Neville’s Navel
September 6–http://oliviasopinions.wordpress.com–Olivia’s Opinions
September 7–http://miriamjoywrites.wordpress.com–Miriam Joy Writes
September 8–http://kirstenwrites.wordpress.com–Kirsten Writes!
September 9–http://writingbeyondthemoon.blogspot.com–Beyond the Moon
September 10–http://crazyredpen.blogspot.com–Crazy Red Pen
September 11–https://ebonquill.wordpress.com–The Ebony Quill
September 12–http://realityisimaginary.blogspot.com–Reality Is Imaginary
September 13–http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com–This Page Intentionally Left Blank
September 14–http://incessantdroningofaboredwriter.wordpress.com–The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer
September 15–http://allegradavis.wordpress.com–All I Need Is A Keyboard
September 16–http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com–Teens Can Write, Too! (We will be announcing the topic for next month’s chain)