1. AndyC
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    AndyC Member

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    Can't figure out places

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by AndyC, Mar 26, 2014.

    I have the plot and characters of the "novel" I'm writing quite sorted out, but, for some reason, I have a lot of doubts about the scenes and setting.
    I may misinterpret the term "scene", so I'll call "scene" to the specific relations and events between my characters in a given moment in the story, and "setting" at the actual physical place where those "scenes" take place.
    I have the scenes planned in my mind, but I can't figure out the proper places for them to happen.
    The universe where the story takes place is a city. A fictional city, but a city nevertheless, with all the places a city usually has.
    To give you an example, there is a scene in the story where the main characters get together to discuss some crucial points in their relationship. I have planned that scene to happen in all sorts of places: A park at night, the library of their school, at one of the character's backyard, having coffee on a cafeteria, and a big etcetera.
    I can't decide myself to where certain events of the story should happen, because I feel there is more appropriated places than others.
    I don't know if I'm making any sense myself :confused:, and I know this issue is merely because of my own "creativity problems" or any other way I may call them, but maybe someone else has been through a similar trouble within his/her story, and can tell me what they did to overcome it.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You make sense but I don't think anyone can answer except you. Write the scenes as you currently picture them. As the story unfolds you'll have a better idea if the location you chose fits or not. I had to draw a map out to be sure I was getting it right when my MC climbed up over a ridge to cut off some people traveling along the river.

    And I had to write the scene before I could figure out how I was going to make parking lots fit in. I ended up with the vehicles having remote valet ability, like when the Lone Ranger would whistle and Silver would come. :p
     
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  3. AndyC
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    AndyC Member

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    Ha ha I imagine that remote valet ability sure came in handy :p

    Maybe I just need more images in my mind of places on different angles/weathers/times of the day/etc, until I have something that really fits into the scene.
    Is there something like that? Something that could made me decide, or even inspire me to describe better settings.
    Perhaps a site with pictures of various places, cities and landscapes? Or something like that.
     
  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Novice writers are often in a hurry to start writing, and they worry that unless they can come up with everything straight away, or very quickly, that there's something wrong with them or their creativity. I used to think like that too. The truth is, a lot of novels take a long time to write, not because of the writing but because of the planning and decisions. I spent months, even years plotting a book, I stopped one project half the way through in order to work on another, and ended up combining them, and sometimes simply taking a long break and focusing on something else helps refine the original idea. So I suggest that you give your idea time to mature. Start writing the scenes you want to include, then stage them on paper, break it all down. Sometimes having a detail overview of the narrative helps with making small decisions you mentioned, and sometimes you realise it's not important, and any setting you personally prefer is the best way forward. Writing is a difficult and slow process :)
     
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  5. AndyC
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    AndyC Member

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    Actually, you're totally right, I am in that situation, I do want to come up with everything right now :oops:. Maybe because I have a lot of ideas and I want to use them all.
    I've written a lot of short stories and I attempted to do a "novel". I finished it in 3 months, it had around 140k words and it was a lot of fun to write. But when I got to read it I really disliked it. It didn't have any structure, the characters were really flat and the universe I created was very poor. But it was really useful, because I started to develop some "sense of critique" about my own work.
    So, this new novel I'm working right now (I don't think I should call them novels because they are light years away of having the quality of a publishable work, but I like to name them that way anyways :D ) I'm trying to improve what I had wrong on my last one, and I understand that it may, and should take, a long time.

    I'm still frustrated with those setting issues though :p
     
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  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I have a wealth of images for you: Create a Pinterest account and just start pinning.

    http://www.pinterest.com/

    I started a folder for future cities, penthouses, parking lots, strange plates of food (my protag is served a plate of food she can't recognize), the forest, the farm, and the edge of the city. Then I started looking for images to pin that fit the idea I had in my mind for my scenes.
     
  7. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Two ideas:

    1.) Go on Google Images and type in "Fantasy cities" or "Science-fiction cities" or whatever city or setting you need, and then have a browse. You'll like pieces from each picture and you'll be able to create your own setting inspired by these images.
    2.) Search "Seventh Sanctum" on Google, click "Generator Types" on the top of the page, and then click "Settings and Places". This might also give you some ideas.

    :)
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Google images works as well. The thing about Pinterest is you can make a file of the images you want and go to your file instead of having to search again and again. Other people have already made collections of just about everything, so I just search Pinterest and click 'pin it' on the images I want to put in my own files.
     
  9. AndyC
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    AndyC Member

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    I've tried google images but I never managed to get something useful. It's obvious that I don't know how to search :p

    @Thomas Kitchen I've entered seventh sanctum and I started browsing. It appears that it just creates random names. The most probable thing is that I'm just not searching right :p Anyways, it'll sure come in handy. Thank you!

    @GingerCoffee To tell you the truth, I had no idea about that pinterest thing. I've heard it somewhere before, but I never actually entered to the site. I'll make myself an account and start browsing. Thanks for the tip! :)
     
  10. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    What are you looking for? Maybe I can create a decent search term. Also, I apologise regarding Seventh Sanctum. I know the majority of generators are names, but some are descriptions. I thought maybe there'd be some descriptions in the "settings and places". My bad. :oops:
     
  11. AndyC
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    AndyC Member

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    I think it would help me to see a lot of pictures of different types of cities, all around the world, to have some "graphical memory" about it. But not the whole city per se, like those pictures that are taken from above a city that I've seen a lot, but different points of them. Parks, alleys, coffee shops, maybe even bus stops, that sorts of things, and then, when I have to create a setting (a physical place) for a scene to take place on my story, I have the ability to create something that feels real and consistent. Does that makes sense? :p
    I would rather travel and see those things myself but unfortunately that's not an option :p
     
  12. Thomas Kitchen
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  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Dueling searches:

    http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=cities

    ;)

    I agree, sometimes it's just a matter of the right search string.
     
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  14. AndyC
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    AndyC Member

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    Thank you two for taking the time to do that, you shouldn't have to bother!

    It's 10:30 p.m here. I have to be in college in 8 hours, but it seems it'll just be me, paper and pencil, a bunch of city images, and a huge cup of coffee until the alarm goes off :cool:
     
  15. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can always go to deviantART and search through there. It's the best art site in my opinion, with millions of amazing works, anything from photomanipulation, photography, digital and 3d art, traditional art etc. I have files and files of images I came across on there, places, various types of people, objects etc. Google doesn't have a fraction of pictures that devArt has, and it mixes art with website photos and such so you get very diluted results.
     
  16. AndyC
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    I actually never thought about deviantart, thank you! I'll see what I can find :)
     
  17. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    If the setting has a significance in of itself, then the appropriate choice should depend upon you story and plot. If not, then you may want to consider the atmosphere that the setting will lend to each "scene" - serenity, busting liveliness, disquiet, etc. If neither case applies, then it really doesn't matter.
     
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  18. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Where are your characters likely to hang out? How private do you want them to be? It's good to use the same setting more than once. Their favorite cafe, their favorite bench in the park, and so on.

    Sounds like you have some ideas of what's appropriate. Use what's appropriate for your plot. The image sites recommended by others above will help you with color, feel, and detail.
     
  19. AndyC
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    AndyC Member

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    After seeing a lot of pictures of a lot of places and inspiring myself a little bit, I made a map of the city itself and I'm adding places as I come up with them and trying to relate them to specific parts of the plot. It has become really useful, I'm having less trouble when deciding where a scene may, or may not, take place. Thank you all for your advice :)
     
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