1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. Jim224

    Jim224 New Member

    May 6, 2009
    Likes Received:

    Struggling with a setting

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Jim224, Jun 26, 2010.

    I have recently been brainstorming a plot that I am excited to start writing, but I can't figure out the setting that would be best to use...

    A very basic synopsis of the plot is: It's about a man whose life is just beginning to blossom, he has a wife who is pregnant and a modest home. Soon a guy who is pretty much the embodiment of complete evil (deciding whether he should literally be the devil in person or not), shows up to the area, along with five almost equally evil henchmen. After a while of the band causing chaos in the town and hurting people, the protagonist, in a random act of adrenaline, kills the main (devil) antagonist. Now he must make a choice to either flee the town and leave the other townspeople to their fates, or finish off the rest of the devil's henchmen, and risk losing his own innocence in the process.

    The two settings I have narrowed down are the American Old West (1850-1900), or a made-up fantasy realm with a medieval-type setting.

    I like the Old West because it seems like it would fit perfectly, and gives it a cool grittiness, but I am afraid I don't know enough about the culture to really take advantage of it.

    With the made-up fantasy setting, I have full control over it, even if it may not fit as well. I feel like it is the easy way out.

    Any suggestions? If you think of a totally different setting that would work well, I'd like to hear that as well.
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Massachusetts, USA
    It's your story, and your setting is a key part of it.

    How your characters interact with each other and your setting is not something you can let someone else choose for you.
  3. Northern Phil

    Northern Phil Active Member

    May 29, 2009
    Likes Received:
    You should start writing the piece.

    As you get deeper and deeper into the story then your setting will define itself through your writing.

    Remember, nothing is set in stone and you can always edit it when you firmly decide on the setting.
  4. Arvik

    Arvik Member

    Jun 15, 2010
    Likes Received:
    The Local Group
    Either way, you have to research. The made-up fantasy setting may not require as many trips to the library, but you'll still want to make sure that you don't have plants growing in the wrong climate, that streets/buildings don't move around in your towns, that the society/culture is consistent, and that the details of mediaeval life -including but not limited to technology- are correct, or at least close enough to be plausible.

    Right now, it sounds like you're leaning towards the Old West. Do some research, see how it feels when you've got some more details about it. As others have said, you have to make the final decision.

    Good luck!
  5. Mallory

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Jun 27, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Tampa Bay
    I'd also go with the Old West setting. A fantasy setting would possibly require introducing new creatures, cultures, terrains, etc that could possibly slow down the story. Also, your plot ideas of bad guy vs. good guy fit nicely with an Old West setting.

    However, if you decide that the villain will be something of a supernatural nature, then the fantasy setting might work better as you wouldn't have to worry about being believable.

    Or you could make a fantasy setting that has Old West characteristics, getting both the atmosphere you want and the fantasy aspect.
  6. Trilby

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

    Jun 21, 2010
    Likes Received:
    NE England
    If you go with the old west setting then I imagine the Hollywood wildwest films the best and most enjoyable place to start your research.
    So get hold of a handful of DVDs and immerse yourself in the subject.
    Happy hunting
    Trilby :p

Share This Page