Welcome back friends to another week of Writing a Novel. If you are new here to this blog series or blog, welcome. I am glad you could make it and I hope you enjoy your time here. I will link the previous blog post down below in case you missed it. I hope you guys have been enjoying these posts as much as I have enjoyed helping others to understand the writing craft. Who is excited for this week’s topic? I know I am. So let’s get started.
Oh one more thing. As the title suggests, I have added a little something extra at the end of the post. So be sure to keep a lookout for it.
Okay, so you have already taken the first couple of steps. Though not addressed in my previous post, I consider the very first step to writing a novel is taking the initiative to say “I want to write a novel.” The second step which you have hopefully already completed is to figure out what genre your novel is going to be. Now it is time for the next step: Creating a Setting.
There are two steps to figuring out your Setting. Step 1: Where in the world do you want your story to take place? And Step 2: What time period do you want it to be?
We live in a vast and beautiful world with so many options in which you can choose from for your characters to live in and interact in. You also have the option of creating a fictional town or city for your characters. On the left, I have included a small collage of a few of my favorite places that I love learning about or have visited. Unfortunately, out of the four pictured here, I have only been to one: Boston, my home state’s capital. But despite not having visited the other three places, I have not let this stop me from setting my stories in far away places that intrigue me and inspire me. For example, I have written a couple of stories (never published or finished) that have taken place in Egypt. I also have an incomplete manuscript that takes place in England. Additionally, my current WIP’s setting is Hawaii as well as Massachusetts.
However, I do want to caution you with setting your novel’s story in a place that you have never been to can be challenging. I know it is something I have struggled with a lot over the years. But don’t let that stop you. Just be aware that it can be challenging. One way to make it less challenging is to come up with your own fictional town. For example, I created a fictional town in England in my unfinished manuscript that I hope to one day return to.
Now that you have figured out what country, state, town or city in which you want your story to take place it is time to figure out what century you want it to be set in. Do you want it to be a modern story i.e. 21st century so you can use items such as TV, cell phone, laptop, planes and cars? Or do you want it to be a Victorian novel where women were not allowed to have careers and there were no TV’s or cell phones?
Depending on which period you would like to set your novel in, you will be required to conduct research. If it is going to be a Victorian era novel or even a WWII novel, you will have to done a ton more research than say for a contemporary novel.
Alright, now for the little bonus, I mentioned. I think giving your Work In Progress novel a codename is a great way to stay focus and to make it fun. My WIP’s Codename is Operation Aloha.
Come up with three to four places you want your story to be set in and list them 1-4, four being your top choice. Then I would like you to do the same for time periods. Finally, let me know down below what your top place and top time period is. And stay tuned for next week’s topic: Characters.
Last Week’s Post:
Writing a Novel Part 1: Genre