Please help me welcome Grace Kahlo, one of the newest members of the Writer’s Retreat. Grace, take it away!
No matter which genre you write, location is a fundamental base to your story. The setting complies of more than time and place. It goes along with culture, architecture, vegetation, dialect, and everything that makes your story world complete and unique.
The fun thing about location is that how you go about it depends on you. Some writers choose to write about a location they know, some travel especially for research purposes, some writers enjoy couch traveling, and some invent everything from scratch.
Personally, I prefer to spend less time researching, and more time writing. I’m currently writing and editing a romantic high fantasy, and planning a contemporary romantic suspense.
For the fantasy, I pretty much invented every aspect of the setting, and even drew a map of the world. I decided I wanted a mountain ridge, with each mountain belonging to a different type of magical being. On the lower grounds, I have a city for wizards, city for witches, and basically there are different beings on every piece of land.
Because, in my story, the land chooses its caretaker.
Now what would happen when different beings want to live on other lands? It’s gonna get messy, and that’s part of the fun. 🙂
That’s just scratching the surface. Because every caste of magical beings have their culture, their dialect, their approach to the land. And the weather is different on a mountain’s peak—colder, fresh and biting—than the warm, moist weather of the lower grounds.
So, setting is an integral part of every story.
For the contemporary, I need to research. My starting point is that I need a woodsy area with wild animals to heighten the stakes and make the scenes heart-thumping with worry and danger. I decided to go with Florida. Now I need to set a trail, because there’re going to be lots of running away and chases in the book.