Writer's Road Recap: Setting

Here is an abbreviated recap of last week's live Writer's Road chat on Setting. Join us tonight for another great, often trending, chat on Twitter!

Many novels that resonate with readers do so because they make them feel as if they are THERE. That is what we must strive for. #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle One of my favorite techniques is to pack as many of the five senses as I can into the scene. #writersroad

@Chris_Ledbetter Me too! The senses are what it's all about. #WritersRoad

The key to writing a powerful setting is for the writer to 1st visualize & KNOW it in all its sensory glory BEFORE composing. #writersroad

I love envisioning my writing like a movie scene. Helps to capture the details. #writersroad

Bring your settings alive. Know the season and use it to its full advantage; scents, colors, tastes, feelings, sounds. #WritersRoad

When creating a setting, remember the dynamic things as well as the static: are their crowds, cars, insects, tumbleweeds? #WritersRoad

To describe a setting like your own, close your eyes, what do you hear, smell, taste, feel? Great exercise. #WritersRoad

Always be careful in writing not to focus too heavily on only ONE sense--like sight. Setting must be 3-D in sensory experience. #writersroad

Tolkien does this very well. Makes you WANT to go to the Shire and avoid Mordor. #WritersRoad

I like a pragmatic approach to setting that involves character interaction with the unique environment. Food is good for this #WritersRoad

Setting motivates the reader to become invested in the story. Make that motivation irresistible. #writersroad

A setting can have its own personality: is it malicious, peaceful, aggressive, alive, sterile, or indifferent? #WritersRoad

Try to have your character interact with as much as possible in the scene. #settings #writersroad

For authentic setting KNOW your place. If you don't know it, discover it. #writersroad

It helps for me to jot down a chapters setting and detail separate and then work it into my revision for that chapter. #writersroad

Interaction is key w/ sensory detail.Notice the color of eyes when they cry,the texture of their hair when the wind sweeps it. #writersroad

If you're crafting a fantasy setting, don't be afraid to draw maps. They don't have be fantastic, (1/2) #WritersRoad

(2/2) but they'll give you an idea of distances between places and how long it will take to get there based on avail. tech. #WritersRoad

I think setting is micro, whereas world building is macro. Setting at the scene level evolves out of your world building #writersroad

Dont forget emotion when doling out sensory detail.If the rain on ur face reminds u of the past &the heartache there, explain. #writersroad

@teetate Yes, emotional connections to triggers can be fantastic when used right. #WritersRoad

Love haunting old antique stores/flea markets. All kinds of unique research material available for world building. #WritersRoad

If plot is the head, your characters the heart then setting is the hand that guides all three. Don't take it lightly. #WritersRoad

Things you need to know about your setting: Where it is (city/state/country), when it is (season, year) and why then and there. #WritersRoad

Where and when your book takes place can be just as important as the story, and should enrich it. #WritersRoad

Setting should feel like the home waiting to comfort your chars at the end of the day. Or what they miss when not there. #writersroad

Smell is the sense tied to memory, so using it pulls the reader into the scene #writersroad

@teetate I like that. Or it can be the opposite depending on the genre. #WritersRoad

Twilight HAD to be set in the rainiest place in America…Hunger Games HAD to be set in a collapsed America. Setting. Is. HUGE. #writersroad

Found this today, very cool for setting inspiration: Click "Random Place" at ATLAS OBSCURA atlasobscura.com/places/treehou… #writersroad

If your setting has no bearing on the plot or no point to the conflicts, then you're not MAXIMIZING its potential! #writersroad

Pinterest is a good resource for setting inspiration. #writersroad

Setting can sometimes be a manifestation of character crises. The inimical Wild of Jack London or the hot stillness of Faulkner #writersroad

@HeatherMcCorkle The setting should have significance to the protag 2. Positive or negative. Should make them feel an emotion #writersroad

Flat description of setting can slow the pace, but if it has emotional hit, then it adds to the scene. #writersroad

If you can take your characters out of their setting, put them in new one & story still works, then setting is not rich enough. #writersroad

For great sensory details, I highly recommend this author's book: thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com #WritersRoad

And don't be afraid to describe textures. It's very sensory and pulls readers into the experience. :) #writersroad

Oh! Setting Thesaurus! Please do use it. Over 100 different settings with lists of 5 senses description #writersroad thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.ca

10 great Questions to Ask When Picking a setting by @Janice_Hardy blog.janicehardy.com/2013/07/10-que… #writersroad

Another good one: Are You Using Setting to Deepen Your Characters? helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2010/01/are-yo… by @KMWeiland #writersroad


  1. I love the mention about stuffing a scene by using all the senses. So true! I love how you share these with us. TY!


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