Setting the Sea-nery

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Exploring the Sea

Have you ever visited a place and thought, “This would be the perfect place to use in my newest book!” Whether it’s a pretty scenery, particular scent, or peaceful atmosphere, some aspects of our everyday life might be ideal to use when creating fictional places of our own.

After all, it’s much easier to write about a couple spending the night in a disgusting cabin, owned by a rowdy family of mice, if you’ve been to such a place. When writing we tend to use settings, we’ve experienced ourselves. This is actually good, because we can describe in detail some of the things the character will see, and perhaps some of the feelings they might have.

But unfortunately vacations and trips don’t last forever, so what can we do to focus on the places we’ve been to and remember what was special about them?

One way to do this is to journal. The next time you go somewhere, take notes. What stands out to you? Is it the scent of freshly baked cinnamon rolls in a coffee shop? Is it the loud noises at the firework shows that got your attention? By jotting down whatever sparks your imagination, you’re improving the chances of being able to recall exactly what got you thinking in the first place.

The second way you can influence the setting of your story is to change your setting…literally. Say you’re writing about a character stranded in a cabin out in the middle of the snowy tundra. Sure, you can’t make it snow, and you can’t kidnap random people to pose as the characters (please don’t), BUT you can lower the thermostat, get a blanket, and pretend that your fingers are freezing while you type.

Or maybe changing your writing setting is something as simple as making a cup of hot chocolate and pulling the blinds, while you put on some rain/thunderstorm sounds. Little things like this can make a difference too! And of course, if you can pack up and go visit somewhere new to write, that’s great too.

A third way to change your setting is to brainstorm. And by brainstorming, I mean, sitting in a room, imagining your setting and your characters in it. Look at some of the pictures you took on your last trip and then close your eyes. What would your character be doing if you took pictures of them in the same setting?

Simply stopping to think about this kind of thing can affect the way you write.

So, there you have it!

The next time you want to get lost in your character’s world, see what you can do to make your setting align with yours! If you do this, you’ll find that you’ll be able to more accurately describe your characters setting and who knows? It might even make your drafting a more fun process!

Series Navigation<< What’s on the Horizon?Writing on the Waves >>





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