Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Location, Location, Location

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Aug• 12•16

real estate signI’ll be teaching a workshop on Location, Location, Location at 10:30 ┬átoday at the Willamette Writer’s Conference, in Portland, Oregon. You can find the whole schedule here. Please check back for the handout for this session. Meanwhile to get you started:

  • Where will key scenes take place?
  • Have you visited your settings if they take place in a real location?
  • What is your time frame, time span?
  • Will you be moving in and out of time or is the storyline linear?
  • What is the weather like and will it affect the story?
  • What are the social conditions?
  • What is the landscape or environment like?
  • What noteworthy details bring the setting to life?
  • What are the standards for creating setting in your genre?
  • How will you be using the setting to create tension?

Tip: Be wary of overkill. Description slows the pace of fiction. Choose the most distinctive details to make the place leap off the page. Also opt for breaking up the description with sentences and phrases scattered throughout the text, or broken up with dialogue or action, instead of clumped together on the page.

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