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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Authors Must Do Research Before Setting the Scene of a Book

    This is a quick tidbit of information in regard to writing fiction―authors must research a particular place, time and/or environment when creating the plot of a book. The setting should capture the attention of the reading audience from the beginning, and if an author chooses to write organically without doing their due diligence in order to help make a book be as realistic as possible, the entire narrative will fall flat.

 Place of Setting.

    Let’s say that the story takes place in a city that’s somewhat familiar to the author―the initial setting of one of my next books titled Summer in Nola begins in New Orleans, Louisiana, for example. I spent a lot of time in New Orleans many years ago and even lived there for six months while I tried to figure out what to do in the next phase of my life. However, further research on the city was totally necessary for me to bring the narrative of this novel to life. The main character lives in the East Bank, but certain details about that neighborhood are fuzzy at best. I eventually needed to refresh my memory of the East Bank via Google Maps.

Bourbon Street in New Orleans

 Time of Setting.

    New Orleans was an exciting place in the summer of 1996―there was the ever-popular Essence Festival, and Bourbon Street and the French Quarter were the place to be back then. One could also bank on the weather being scorching hot as well―a weatherman’s job was the easiest job to have because the temperature was always ninety-two degrees every single day with a ten percent chance of rain in the forecast. These are the type of details that are vital to an attention-grabbing storyline.

 Environment of Setting.

    Even though New Orleans was a great place to be at times, the vibration throughout the city as well as the entire country was a dangerous one because one would think that the environment was peaceful at first glance. However, drugs were running rampant all over the East Bank as well as the whole country during the summer of 1996. The murder rate was also extremely high―I remember that Tupac was killed in Las Vegas toward the end of the summer that year. This is the most important facet of setting the tone of a book because the environment paints a vivid picture of the backdrop as readers will get a glimpse of what life was like in the mid-90s in the bayou.

    A writer must present these elements in the setting of a book in order to give readers the sense that they’re actually there where the story takes place. A setting without specific details is likened to food without the proper seasoning―all that you have is a bland meal lacking flavor and substance, and the reading audience is guaranteed to dismiss the book altogether when certain components are absent.

Related Posts:

Authors Can Write Fiction Through Life Experiences 

Five Ways Authors Can Perfect Their Craft in Writing 

Finding Author's Niche in Writing Stories 

Authors Must Find a Balance Between Writing and Marketing 

The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing 

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