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11

Sometimes for me, when growing the setting first, I find it generates new characters, details and interactions that lead to a story organically growing out of the exercise. There are many ways to start putting a story together and very few are right or wrong. Still… Pros A cure for writer’s block; if you want to write but don’t know where to begin, ...


5

I think it's important to figure out why you were bored by the mining community setting. Is it because the character made too much of the details without giving the reader a sense of why they were important? For example, if the reader is following the character through a day in the mines, are the details important because we don't know if at any moment the ...


4

In a case like this I would recommend looking up town records and using an old residential address that has since been demolished. This might take a bit of work, but gives the accuracy that your client seems to be looking for. Otherwise, look up some addresses and pick a number in between. Only locals would know the problem, and it would be a Platform 9 3/4 ...


4

Make the atmosphere and the perspective serve the story, not vice versa. It's a different story if your own home - the place you know in and out - transforms into a battle arena and either serves as your weapon, its nooks and crannies providing an advantage over the oppressor, or a traitor - a years-old companion turning on you and places you knew to be ...


3

I think you can have both in the story. I think the reader won't feel cheated as long as you don't make a big geographical mistake. What you can do is to add little details to add some familiarity, and use the rest to produce something fresh (the unique way in which the character sees the world). For instance, in the novels I read, authors describe the ...


3

Scrivener contains a feature it calls "Corkboard," which sounds very much like your "Storyboard." It presents scenes as small 3x5 index cards with a synopsis on them, and you can rearrange them to your heart's content. It's a popular feature. In answer to your question, it sounds like yes, this is something that is done with great frequency. I use it ...


2

It's worth considering the fact that characters are a product of their world, and their world is a product of key characters: I work in IT, working in IT defines a big part of who I am, IT makes up a huge part of the world I live in, IT is a product of people like Babbage and Turing. In short I find World Building is best as a free form ...


2

I once wrote a book as a long screenplay that I then turned into a book. The result? Fairly good dialogue, thin descriptive writing, weak prose overall. Not that this is inevitable but I found that once you've been through a story once as dialogue, scenes and sound cues it makes it a hell of a chore to go through again and turn it into a novel. As for story ...


2

In historical fiction use real address for real historical events. If a real historical figure lived in a house that is there to this day, use it. If some real place was a famous hangout of some society, use it. If you know of historical events that took at a specific location, have them re-enacted there in your story. Say, you write a story about the ...


1

Why not just put a blindfold on and walk around your house for a few hours? Take notes into a recorder or a voice note app about what you're feeling, thinking, smelling, hearing, about whether other senses have sharpened, if you're slowing down, etc. Additionally, the children's book Follow My Leader is quite good about showing how a previously sighted boy ...


1

A setting sketch is as important, if not more important than a character sketch. We also maintain sketches on structures, roads, livestock, pets, vehicles, etc. Especially when working with long time lines. Another term that may help you find more information than you will ever need is to use "World Building" as your key search word. World building can ...


1

It's important to consider the medium you should use when telling a story because each method has a unique advantage overs its counterparts. For instance, stories that are mostly about a character's interior evolution are best suited to novels because the written word lends itself to investigating a character's innermost thoughts. Films are able to provoke ...


1

A dramatist once told me that he always imagines the setting first, including rooms and entries and exits. Creating a stage is like a frame of a painting, allowing the writer to be like an artist placing the rest of the characters and dialogue in place. Its a lot more fluid to have the setting in your mind physically, and then you can concretely explain how ...


1

If you're going to set something in a familiar city, I want all the details to prove you know it. I want it to be like when we watch Elementary or Person of Interest and we're constantly pausing to see what street the show was filmed on because we recognize the bodega on the corner. If you're just setting the book in A Major City, and the character and ...


1

In science fiction, setting typically is more vital to the story than in other genres. By definition, the location in a science fiction story must be a place in which some scientific discovery or concept alters the world so that it looks different than the one in which we live. Because of this, many science fiction authors start writing their stories by ...


1

Damon Knight once said that when he has an idea for some science-fictional McGuffin but doesn’t know how to incorporate it into an actual story, he asks himself, “Who would this hurt?” So if you know enough about your setting to be able to identify a character with a problem peculiar to that setting, then you’re ready to write a story in that setting. ...


1

This isn't the pros and cons as such, but here's my approach that should help influence your decision. I always introduce elements of the setting via the actions of my character. You should never stop the story progressing, even to describe. See this example (excuse the arbitrary nature of it): The hallways were made from a unique metal alloy only ...



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