Creating a setting for your novel can involve describing a landscape, the middle of a bustling city or the interior of your character’s bedroom.
Long ago writers spent an excessive amount of time describing settings, primarily because their readers hadn’t seen those places. Today we have access to everything from Google maps to YouTube videos of places and settings all around the world. Not only can you “visit” these places without leaving your home, but so can your readers.
Of course, nothing can beat actually visiting a place. But not all of us can either afford or have the time to visit the places we want to write about. And, especially, if you’re setting your NaNo novel in a fantasy or science fictional landscape you can only visit it in your imagination.
Still, it’s important to create a rich setting for your novel. Since I talked about Avatar earlier, James Cameron did such an incredible job creating the setting of Pandora that some people after viewing the movie experienced a mild letdown at having to return to the ordinary world. Imagine doing that with your NaNo novel!
Here are some articles and worksheets to help you do just that.
Setting Worksheet – – A handy, blank pdf for sketching out your setting.
Narrative Elements of Setting – – This article provides examples from books to show ways to describe a room, the weather or natural surroundings.
Twenty-One Writing Prompts for Setting a Scene in Your Novel – Need help writing your setting? Try these prompts.
Setting (Elements of Writing Fiction) by Jack Bickham – One of a series of books from Writer’s Digest Element of Writing Fiction, this is book will help you use sensual detail and vivid language to create your setting.
You don’t have to go overboard describing your setting but do you want your readers to feel as if they’re in the setting of your novel. But, during the mad month of NaNo, don’t stop to do research or spend hours detailing your setting. You will do that in the revision stage. Just have some idea of your setting and go on from there.