Location, Location, Location: Choosing Setting for Your Story

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie where the setting was so vivid and captivating that it felt like a character in itself? Some of us dream of walking through the fantastical setting of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry or resting in the serenity of Rivendell. The setting of a story can have a huge impact on the overall tone and atmosphere, as well as the plot and characters. But how do you choose the perfect location for your story?

From sprawling cities to quaint small towns, the possibilities for settings are endless. But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to decide where to set your story. The setting can also affect the story’s credibility and authenticity, so it’s important to choose wisely.

One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a writer is choosing the setting for your story. The right location can add depth and richness to your writing, while the wrong one can make your story fall flat. Here are some tips for choosing the perfect setting for your story:

Steps for Choosing the Setting

Consider the Genre of Your Story

Unlock the power of your story’s genre by selecting the perfect setting – it’s the key to a truly unforgettable tale! If you’re writing a historical romance, for example, you might want to choose a setting that’s historically accurate and adds to the authenticity of the story.

Research Your Setting

Once you have an idea of the genre and period of your story, it’s time to research potential locations. Look for places that fit the mood and tone of your story, and that have interesting features or landmarks that can add to the plot. The setting can impact the plot. Does the location play a significant role in the story, or is it just a setting? If the setting is important to your story, make sure that you’ve done your research. To gain an accurate understanding of the culture and geography, it is recommended to either visit the area or conduct online research.

Use Your Own Experiences

Sometimes the best setting for your story is one that you’re familiar with. Think about places you’ve visited or lived in, and how they could fit into your story. This can also help you write more authentically about the location.

When I write, I usually place my characters in settings that I am familiar with, such as places where I have lived. The local issues and events that occur in those areas often inspire my stories, as they are believable scenarios for readers who are also familiar with the area. I’ve lived in many areas of Ohio, Kentucky, and now Arizona, where crime is high and some well-known cases have taken place there such as the case of Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias in Mesa. Being a mystery and suspense writer, this gives me inspiration for potential stories.

Consider the Mood and Tone

Consider the mood and tone of your story when selecting the perfect setting. If your story is somber and melancholic, a cheery and sunny location may not be ideal. Carefully consider the emotions that you wish to elicit in your readers and opt for a setting that complements those feelings.

Use Setting to Enhance Your Plot

Your setting can also play a role in your plot. Think about how the location can impact the events of your story, and use it to create tension and conflict. For example, a story set in a small town might have gossip and rumors spreading quickly, while a story set in a big city might have more opportunities for characters to get lost or disappear.

The setting is a mighty force! It can either elevate or ruin your characters’ tales. Will they be cradled by the sweet embrace of home, or thrown into the exciting abyss of a foreign land? Whatever your choice of setting, ensure it’s linked to the plot. Why would your story unfold here and not elsewhere? What makes this place the perfect stage for your story’s grand performance?

Edit and Revise

Once you’ve chosen a setting, make sure to edit and revise your writing to ensure that it’s consistent with the location. Check for accuracy in details and descriptions, and make sure that your setting adds to the overall story rather than detracting from it.

When you’re deciding on a location, it’s crucial to take into account how you can craft a truly distinct atmosphere. Is it located in the midst of a bustling city or a more tranquil, rural area? What are the typical weather conditions in this particular region? Furthermore, what are the noteworthy landmarks or distinguishing characteristics that will help your story truly stand out?


As you wrap up your story, it’s crucial to remember that the setting plays a significant role in shaping its characters and plot. Think of it as the painting you first see as you walk into a museum with an exhibit displaying your world. What would you want these viewers to see? Allow yourself to go on an exciting adventure of discovery, exploring different settings and unleashing your creativity to see how they can enrich your story. With the right setting, you can create a powerful tool that evokes emotions and captivates your readers. Use these tips to find the perfect location that brings your story to life.

Related Sources

External Link: http://writershelpingwriters.net/writing-tools/


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: