“My writing students come from all over the world and write in every genre and sub-genre imaginable. While their writing is often solid, sometimes it lacks key elements. This is hardly surprising since there are so many things to juggle in creating a good story. One element is key, however. When handled incorrectly, it makes the difference between a story that sings and one that flops.
That secret key element? Setting. Setting can empower a story on so many levels, but until you realize exactly how to use setting effectively, it can create unnecessary stumbling blocks. Stumbling blocks that can stop any reader—including an agent or editor—cold.
Here are the most common setting mistakes I see repeated over and over again, as well as a few insights on how to correct the challenges.
- Mistake #1: No (or very little) setting on the page.
- Mistake #2: Including too much setting, which impacts your pacing and makes your story grind to a halt.
- Mistake #3: Vague details that don’t allow the reader to see what you, as the author, see in your mind’s eye.
- Mistake #4: Forgetting we live in a sensory world.
- Mistake #5: Forgetting that different characters are not going to experience the same setting in the same way.
Read more via 5 Key Setting Mistakes to Avoid in Your Fiction