When you hear the word setting, you think of a time period and place, but settings do so much more than that.
With sci-fi and historical novels, the setting becomes an important part of the story. The setting doesn’t have to be real but it does have to be believable.
Writing historical novels, do your research and throw in some things that you would expect to see during the time period.
Writing Sci-Fi, you’re creating a world. Your setting needs to be detailed. Help your reader to visualize it. Draw them in.
Settings should be visceral and vivid and allow us to experience the world the author is building as if we are one of the characters within the narrative.
Settings evoke a mood. In horror stories, your description of a haunted house should evoke fear in your readers. In a mystery, your setting should evoke suspense and curiosity. In a comedy, your setting should evoke laughter or an anticipated thrill.
Settings provide information about your characters. How does their home look? Is it messy, neat, compulsively organized? Do they surround themselves with darkness or light?
Settings can also be used to evoke the passage of time and movement. The saplings we had planted in our youth towered above the two-story house. This was home, at least the house that I remembered.
Who knew there was so much to writing. I hope this evoked thought and helped you better understand the use of settings in your novel.
Something to think about.