“Remember in your story that setting is the other character. It is as important to your story as the people in it because it gives them context and can ideally be used to heighten drama and tension, depending on where it is.” – Rob Parnell
“I’m not going to tell you how to start a bug-powered vehicle, I’m just going to put you inside one with somebody who knows how, and send you off on a ride.” ― Kameron Hurley
1.) Discover The Basic Elements of Setting In a Story – by
2.) 5 Tips for Writing Better Settings – by Jody Hedlund
3.) How Writers Can Craft an Effective Setting – by Jane Friedman
4.) 7 Tips for Writing About Places You’ve Never Been – by Suzannah Windsor Freeman
5.) The Difference Between Setting and World Building – by Janice Hardy
If you’re writing science-fiction or fantasy, you’ll want to look over these articles. For this course, you won’t have much time to world-build, so only world-build what you can. For more in-depth world-building, ask your facilitator about taking the 7-week World-Building class. Also don’t forget to read the setting articles above, as they relate heavily to the world your characters are in, regardless of whether you made it up or not.
1.) An Introduction to World-Building – Kristen Kieffer
2.) Worldbuilding: Creating Fictional Cultures – by J.S. Morin
3.) How To Create a Civilisation – by Aaron Miles
4.) Quotes on World Building – by Patrick Rothfuss
5.) Do What Tolkien Did (But Not What You Think He Did) – by Tineke Bryson
6.) Fantasy Map Examples – by Jordan Draves (This links to two different map tutorials, recreates one of them, and shows examples of both. It turns out map making is easy and fun!)
1A.) Choose your setting and make notes about the place’s geography, landscape, physical features, architecture, furniture, whatever you need for however specific you’re looking to get (A livingroom versus a mountain range, for example).
1B.) Include the five senses in your notes as well as a “sixth” that gives details such as whether the place is beautiful or ugly, freeing or oppressive etc.
1C.) In your notes, describe the people who occupy this place. Are they happy, sad, motivated, depressed… And what actions, habits, or things first come to mind?
2.) Write a paragraph describing all of this for the reader starting with a wide frame, showing us the largest view of the place that makes sense and zooming in to the specific place where the story is set using no more than four sentences. Then transition to the people, writing a scene using their actions or habits to drive home the sense you have of the place, no more than a page or two in length.