Category Archives: Setting

World-building: Creating a Credible Magic System

Hi everyone! Today we have a new face at the blog: author and ghostwriter Justin Attas. He’s in love with world-building and has some great ideas on how to ensure the magic systems we create are credible and logical, enhancing … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Characters, Description, Guest Post, Setting, Show Don't Tell, worldbuilding, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 12 Comments

5 Innovative Strategies That Could Help You Win a Writing Contest

One person I love having at the blog is Savannah Cordova from Reedsy, because she always has an innovative take on every subject. If you enter writing contests, this post is one you will want to read, because she offers … Continue reading

Posted in Experiments, Flashbacks, Focus, Guest Post, Mood and Atmosphere, Point of View, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 5 Comments

Digging Deep: The Psychology of a Layered Story

Humans like complexity; puzzles, questions, layers. It fascinates us. My guess it’s because there are so many complex systems in nature that our brain needs to navigate successfully. Ecosystems, weather systems, the tax system…But the one that has the most … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Characters, Description, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Setting, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Theme, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

Picking the Right Setting Details

Settings are very important to me. Most of my love affairs with books and movies tie directly into where the characters lived, laughed, and suffered: Green Gables, Toad Hall, the Nostromo, Braveheart‘s Scotland. So when it comes to choosing or creating … Continue reading

Posted in Emotion, Mood and Atmosphere, Setting, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 4 Comments

Wax On, Wax Off: 5 Areas To Polish Before Submitting A Manuscript

Most writers are familiar with the saying, “You only get one chance to impress,” and there is no industry where this holds truer than in publishing. From the agent who reads those first requested pages, to the editor searching for … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Pacing, Revision and Editing, Setting, Show Don't Tell, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 19 Comments

The Writer’s Spice Cabinet

Some writers object to thinking about plot and structure because it may lead to formulaic writing. They miss a critical distinction. Why does something become a formula in the first place? Because it works! Here’s a formula for an omelet: … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Dialogue, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Setting, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 7 Comments

Three Ways The Setting Can Steer Your Story’s Plot

The setting is a powerful force. Not only does it evoke mood, create tension and conflict, allow you to share critical backstory in a non-dumpy way, and draw readers deeper into the story through powerful sensory detail…it can also steer … Continue reading

Posted in Description, Mood and Atmosphere, Plotting, Setting, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

Mapping Your Story’s Setting

As writers, we do our best to know our story’s setting as intimately as we know our characters. We can visualize the buildings, rooms, and geographic landscape. Maybe we even know the climate well enough to feel its heat or … Continue reading

Posted in Resident Writing Coach, Setting, Uncategorized | 32 Comments

Worldbuilding, Demystified

As a fantasy writer, one of my absolute favorite parts of the writing process is worldbuilding. I love creating new worlds, cities, and people groups from scratch. I probably either have a God complex or am fighting OCD tendencies, but whatever. … Continue reading

Posted in One Stop For Writers, Setting, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Using Real-World Locations to Ground Your Story’s Setting

Last month I went on a writing retreat in Iceland. (Yes, Iceland! In fact, you can learn more about the annual Iceland Writers Retreat here.) It sounds like a remote location for a writing event; and when I first told … Continue reading

Posted in Resident Writing Coach, Setting, Uncategorized | 27 Comments