Setting is more than just location.

It’s a powerful tool for establishing themes, mood, tone, and, should you be so inclined, making a social/cultural/religious/political statement. 

Setting will:

  • influence and emphasize a character’s actions

  • spotlight a character’s beliefs

  • create conflicts

  • enhance conflicts

  • be essential and integral part of the plot

  • establish mood

    ****Use setting purposely. It’s just as important as any character you create.**** 

Take a look at the types of settings below. If you’ve read one or more of the novels in the example column, reflect how the author used setting to best advantage.

Can you have more than one setting? Of course! Most novels do.

Setting can also refer to:

  • a physical place

  • temperature

  • weather

  • climate

  • geography

  • landscape/topography

Setting should be just as real to you as your characters, complete with its own personality, traits, nuances, and idiosyncrasies. Give setting a ‘voice’ as it were.

Consider how you can make full fabulous use of your WIP’s setting to take your story to the next level.

I love questions! Leave a comment here, tweet me at @AutumnBardot ( where you’ll get the quickest response), or hit me up on Goodreads! I’ve been teaching college-level literary analysis for 14 years, and enjoy helping new writers understand and incorporate all the tricks and techniques of the trade.