Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Siberian, Jul 26, 2018.
Sometimes I just listen to music and it comes to me naturally that way.
You really should be more careful and not risk hitting people in their eyes with carlessly thrown darts.
That sounds like a really excellent idea. There's no greater source of inspiration I can think of, than music.
I looked for my character growth. Which first-order events did I need to make happen to get these guys from point A to point B in their minds?
Once I had the events, I asked for second-order events that set these first-order events in motion (political/worldbuilding dimension, caused by secondary/tertiary characters). Which additional players needed to be on the stage at each turning point? And then I searched for a setting that fulfilled all of these answers at each point in the first-order timeline.
All else is curlicue.
For me, the setting always arrives simultaneously with the main character. The character pops into my head in whatever setting the story takes place, and I have to figure out who this person is, how they got there, and what happens in his /her life. But the setting itself is always so tightly bound to the character, it sometimes feels like I have no say in it (although obviously, I do).
With my first fiction (which did not get published - thank God - but did get in finals in 2 publishing houses) and this that I am starting now....
Imagination started. It created something that is absurd but somehow plausible. Few main characters started to create themselves. Storyworld... Socio-emotional space that is a bit similar but totally different started to emerge...
To me settings are the socio-emotional world. It must work well. It must have a life of it's own. Characters must be humans. They job is to live their lives - not to fill my story. I must listen them. If I want them to do something, I must build them so that they will do it in that world. And maybe it is a small surprise to me how they do it.
Where... It's their world and their time. They know where. Or don't. Or...
"Character based, story driven..." No. Not like that. Characters are the base and they drive.
Some characters are passengers. It's like that in the real world also. But driving force is characters that drive.
Some characters drive even if they are seated in passenger seats. And dude in driver's seat does not like it. And then....
Think about Alexander McCall Smith and Mma Ramotswe -books. Story world is not Africa or Botswana or... It is the mind of the main character and how Africa and Botswana are reflected to that mind.
Story world of Mma Ramotswe books:
First layer: Character and her mind.
Second layer: What happens to the world in that mind?
Third layer: What is the world that happens in that mind?
Fourth layer: What parts of that world are shown to reader, when, why and how?
Fifth layer: Fourth layer through authors voice and it's effects.
It's not about plot. It's about story. And story is about humans, throughs humans, for humans, with humans.
Did I mention to pay attention to...
I was trying to think if place and time are both part of setting, and I do believe they are. I wrote a story that takes place in a restaurant I used to frequent quite a bit. The story came out okay and the setting worked just fine, but then I thought about the time period my story took place in. What if I pushed everything back a few decades and had this story set in a troubled time for the world. I don't know how much the setting changed, but the story changed a lot and the setting seemed to have more context. But regardless in your setting is WWII Germany or an American grocery store in 2050, setting gives us the rules of the world in which a story takes place. However, since you have so much planned out, you must have some idea of setting. I mean stories don't take place in empty spaces. Can you really plan out a whole story with no idea where everything is taking place? I bet you already have a few of the answers you are looking for. The when and where are such important parts of any story. If you know your story, you must have a clue as to the setting, no?
A "What if" scenario came to me. It was "What if the Roman Empire didn't collapse entirely? What if it only lost some territories and then things seetled down? What if the empire kept on going well into the Middle Ages?".
Then I wrote something completely unrelated to that premise.
Lol the Roman Empire did continue well into the middle ages, so good call on writing a different thing
I also wanted to add to the discussions that I changed my novel setting after writing a good chunk of it. Where the story was taking place was making some things not add up. My old setting had my characters too close to things and gave them easy access to things that I didn't want to be so close or so easy to get. And it wasn't all that hard to change the setting. So, if you just start writing your story, you will easily find out if the setting is working, and if it's not, change it or alter it, adapt it and maybe even adapt to it somewhat while writing.
It sounds like you've already put in a lot of planning, but in my experience nothing ever goes exactly as planned. Good luck!
Thank you all for your feedback! My story does hint at possible time periods and locations so I think I will just write and change the setting as need be.
My current project is, imaginatively, set in an area not too far from where I live. I seem to draw a lot of inspiration from the things I physically see, unless I'm going full sci-fi/fantasy - then it's a free for all.
I just pull them out of the proverbial hat like it is just filled with endless rabbits.
Not all that hard really, just have to remember that most of them have to be able
to have been built by Humans and Greys 700 years into the future, and poof there
is most of my set pieces.
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