Process Post: The Basics of How to Write Setting

Aaaaand I had today’s post all ready to go, then went, “I didn’t actually explain what setting was.” 

The next thought was, “So I’ll write a short intro to explain what setting is, no worries! I’ll just add it to the post!”


Every time I run into what I think is a simple omission about something basic, I open up a can of worms that runs at least 5K words, it seems. The people I edit struggle with this. I know it’s important to explain that only the setting inside the text of the fiction counts as far as the average reader is concerned. I also know that writers struggle with this idea and complain that they’re treating their readers like they’re idiots. 

Sorry, folks.

Your readers are not idiots. But your job is to program their meat computers to create waking dreams. Think about all the things a binary computer can screw up…and think about how people’s brains are even less reliable than a binary computer.

This week’s post was all about backing up and explaining the thing I didn’t think I had to explain. Probably there will be several weeks of posts. You will probably not think I’m talking to you like you’re an idiot (although maybe so), and the material that comes after these posts will probably be more useful because of them. They won’t even be boring to write! 

But I initially took for granted that you wouldn’t need to go into such a basic assumption–just as a lot of writers take for granted communicating the settings of their stories!

Let’s all just agree that noodling around in what we “all” know is often pretty productive 😛

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