Why Is The Novel’s Setting Essential To Craft A Story That Your Readers Will Love

Why Is The Novel’s Setting Essential To Craft A Story That Your Readers Will Love

Each story takes place in a specific place at a specific time. The characters move in that environment and are profoundly influenced by it: in the way they behave, speak, and think.

This is why is the novel’s setting essential to craft a story that your readers will love.

What is the setting of a story?

The setting of a story is the context, the environment that provides the backdrop for the story’s events.
It includes customs, traditions, costumes, and expressions that depend on geographical location and change over the years.

Something that may fit in Europe may not be told in Asia or must be slightly modified for America.

Similarly, what was accepted in 2010 in a metropolis like New York, could be considered outrageous in 1800 in a small town in the United States.

The setting is what varies over the years and centuries, and the author must pay close attention to.

Why pay attention to the setting?

In a previous article, we talked about “Magical realism“. This narrative technique allows you to introduce magical objects in a real context. A narrative device like this fascinates the readers so that they accept it almost as if that object were part of everyday reality.

Unlike this, however, an incorrect setting does not engage the reader. On the contrary, it risks confusing and even irritating him.

Inserting customs and current expressions into a 500-year-old setting seems more like a mistake than a narrative technique. In these cases, it appears that the author has not thought carefully about the setting and everything that characterizes it.

Whoever reads a story is predisposed to believe what is told in it, even if it is a fantasy story. In the narrative jargon, this is the “suspension of disbelief“. It is that glimmer of doubt inherent in the reader that opens when you tell something totally inconsistent.

Setting equals trust

If you don’t want to lose this trust that the reader is giving to your novel, you have to write a coherent story.

For example, if you tell a detective story set in the nineteenth century, you can’t solve the case with DNA analysis.

In the same way, if your main character is a street kid, you can’t make him express himself as an academic.

When the readers read, they become immersed in the story as if in a dream and let go.

Reading, however, of inconsistent elements you don’t explain in the story causes accidents that awaken your reader from the enchantment of reading and alienate him.

In fact, while we read a novel, we are insane – bonkers. we believe in the existence of people who aren’t there, we hear their voices, we watch the battle of Borodino with them, we may even become Napoleon. Sanity returns (in most cases) when the book is closed.

Ursula K. Le Guin

bibisco: an essential tool for your setting

As you’ve seen, it’s not easy to figure out the setting of your novel. On the contrary, doing it is crucial for so many reasons.
bibisco, thanks to its innovative novel writing software, helps you understand your novel’s setting. In this way, the author identifies the expressions and traditions to describe and include in the characters’ dialogues.

bibisco's setting section - The novel's setting is essential to craft a story that your readers will love -
bibisco’s setting section

Conclusions

Defining the setting, understanding it, and applying it correctly are essential to crafting a story that your readers will love.
Everything you include in your story must be consistent with the setting to avoid confusing readers but engage them in a coherent, linear, deep narrative.

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