Writing Advice

3 Tips for Fiction Writers Struggling with Setting

Setting is crucial to creating something your Readers will love, and if you struggle with it, then you’re like me.


Getting setting right might be easier if stories took place entirely in one location, but they seldom do, so writers have hard work ahead. We have to constantly change the scenery, move in and out of it, and describe it just enough for it to serve its purpose. Since only the Author knows the story, I can’t say how much or how little you need to describe the places your characters are in, but these three tips are intended to help you, the Author, figure that out.


  1. Remember it. It’s easy to sort of forget they’re in a room when your characters are talking to each other. That’s okay, because you’ll revise and you can add setting details later. Just remember it and make notes to yourself to add some description and actions in between dialog.
  2. Imagine the setting and write it down. You probably don’t need to do this with every part of your setting, but you might find it useful to draw a picture of your teenage character’s bedroom where she and her two friends will spend a large part of the book, or make a rough sketch of where the furniture is in a living room if there’s a big family meeting and you need to keep track of who’s where and what they’re doing. Even if you don’t need all those details for your story, it’s nice to have them available.
  3. Have fun. Setting isn’t a chore. It’s an integral part of a story. Your story. The one your Readers are going to love.
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