S E T T I N G (Image source)
The setting consists of these elements, which you ought to describe through the course of the story. It is up to you, however, to decide how necessary it is to do so and why.
- Which element is more important right now? Why? The most common answer is because it plays an impact on the story, so you should give it a higher priority in that particular moment. Overall we should get a feeling however brief of each or most of them.
- Why are settings important at all? Because the story is happening somewhere. Even if it’s happening in a void or in the middle of a nothingness, you could describe it. It helps making your story more memorable and your writing more vivid.
- How much should you describe? Again, there isn’t a rule. It is up to you. You’d not spend a page describing a room that plays no interesting or important part in the story, would you? If you do it, you’ll make the readers believe it is more important than it actually is, or bore them out. During the first draft you can spend as much as you want pointing out details of the environment and the space but know that during revision, they could and will get cut out if they’re not relevant whatsoever.
- The relationship between world-building and the settings: they’re directly related. If you’re creating a new world you’ll have to work through a lot of describing, and that has to do with—you guessed it—the environment. The space, time and temperature. All of these have to do with the world you’re creating if they’re different from what we normally see or if they’re not.
- Let’s say it, describing things is oftentimes quite fun and a great way to practice vocabulary and your use of metaphors and similes to show and not tell in a powerful way.
The following links provide great advice on both settings and world building and I recommend checking them out.
- Common Setting Failures
- The Senses and World Building
- Fantasy World Building Questions
- Tips on Revealing Setting
- The Rules of Quick and Dirty World Building
- The Description Pyramid
- Physical Descriptions Put Readers Into Place
- Location, Location, Location
- Creating Your Own World