Setting the scene in a story

A writer typing on a computer

Following on from my blog about writing the main character I’m now going to move on to the next element of a good story; the scene or the place where it is set.

People often read stories as a way of escaping and the setting of a story may be a different world entirely to that in which the reader lives. This doesn’t mean it has to be an alien planet, but it may be a different country or a different time. Lifestyles can be so different that it may seem like an alien place to the reader. The important thing is that there is detail and consistency.

Ian Fleming was very good at setting the scene in his stories. The mind is an amazing thing and it can create a vivid movie given the right sort of prompts. Make sure that the reader can see what is around the characters and understand the basics, such as the time of day. Use taste and smell as they will stimulate the reader’s imagination and add to the mental images they are creating.

You can use the scenery around the characters to convey the theme. So, if this part of the story involves danger you can describe dark or dangerous scenery to fit the overarching mood. You can also reflect the mood of the character through the setting; sunny and bright or raining and grey.

The scene is a very important part of a story and it is often overlooked by amateur writers. The ability to capture a moment through the setting is something that great writers all have in common.

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2 Comments

Filed under Writing

2 responses to “Setting the scene in a story

  1. Well said. The old saying “Don’t write about it. Let them feel it” comes to mind after reading this blog post.

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