Six impossible things

Posts Tagged setting

Making stuff up: Putting it all Together

Looking at the story development process the way I have been in these last few posts makes it seem logical and straightforward, but that’s only because I was looking at one angle at a time. In actual fact, when one is making stuff up for a real […]

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Making Stuff Up: Setting to Plot or Characters

Starting with a setting, rather than with a plot or characters, is a lot more common than many non-writers think. This is because “setting” as used by writers encompasses a whole lot more than simply the physical environment. Yes, you will occasionally hear a writer say “I […]

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I drove down to Chicago yesterday with my father, and I let him pick the route. Instead of taking the freeway through Wisconsin, which I have done many times and which takes about 7 hours plus meal and gas stops, we drove down the west bank of […]

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Recruiting Extras

I keep running into the problem of “the main characters seem to be the only people in the setting.” Might I beg a post on how to do crowd scenes (or scenes in general) where there are lots of people in the background? –Question from Deep Lurker […]

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Not from Around Here

Lurker, I’ll get to your crowd post next. Every so often, I am reminded that not everyone lives in Minnesota. I was reminded of this forcibly a few years back at a fabulous Minicon panel at which five editors graciously consented to, in essence, read slush for […]

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Designing magic, part 1

A couple of years back, I was on a panel about magic systems and how one handles magic in fiction. Near the end of the session, someone asked a question about “magical maturity” stories – the sort where children go through a sort of magical puberty during […]

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Fixing Chapter One: Background, setting, backstory

The third problem that article-writer had with Chapter Ones was “too much background and too much telling.” His answer was to cut out all the description. Unfortunately, this “simple and obvious” solution isn’t a universal one – in the first place, it doesn’t allow for differences in […]

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Where it happens

Setting is one of the things that seems to get short shrift in a lot of beginner stories/novels. Even writers who are devotees of the Tolkien School of Background and Appendices tend to focus on the history and politics part of worldbuilding, and occasionally on various aspects […]

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Changing infrastructure

Infrastructure is all that everyday stuff we take for granted, from roads and bridges to garbage collection and cell phones. It’s one of the things that allows societies to function smoothly, if they want to. It’s vitally important…and it’s also vastly boring. Consequently, writers tend not to […]

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Landscape vs. setting

Earlier this week, Minnesota Public Radio replayed  an interview with novelist Richard Ford, and some of his comments (around 23 minutes into the broadcast) got me thinking about landscape. First off, landscape isn’t the same as setting. They overlap, of course, but one can tell an urban […]

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