How to Get Published Step 4: The Setting

terra-nova-timeThe setting of your story is something you have to be careful about, especially the dominant setting. That’s where you’ll be spending most of your time and it’s surprising how much that can change your attitude toward your writing. No matter what you want your book to be, dominant setting will almost always determine your genre, which in turn, can determine your audience.

You should use enough smooth descriptive language to help convey the imagery as quickly as possible. A good way to do this is to describe things in relation to other things in the scene. Of course, you’ll also want to describe things in a way that shows it through the character’s eyes, in which you will need to use analogies to relate it to things they would know. Hopefully you get a good enough feel for the characters that these come naturally.

If you’re someone like me who quickly gets bored of a setting, the best thing you can do is find a way to connect to as many interesting environments or interactions as possible. Fantasy and sci-fi can some times cheat in this respect so long as you develop the plot tools you need to do this early on. If you can’t do this, you have to make the characters view of your dominant setting be the interesting thing. This can be fun but also difficult.

Once again, imagery is important, character perspective is important and all this is done through description and interactive dialogue. My fourth piece of advice: Even if you or your character is familiar with their setting, the reader won’t be so make the introductory description of your setting count and know when enough is enough. Read more for an example.

Example

Step 3: The Narrative
“The world Cuspphire opened her eyes to was not the world she had come from.”

Create Imagery of the Setting
Use what descriptive language you know to portray the scene you have in your head as you would want them too see it and how you would want the character interact with it.

Step 4: The Setting

Bright turquoise light bathed the bridge she had landed on. It was made of metal like the flat of a long sword. She tried to stand up but found she couldn’t. Her whole body was shaking.

“No…” It was Lord Reg. “Damn it, okay!” Hands wrapped around her waist and she was being huddled into his white coat. “Better hope they think I’ve just gained some weight.”

She wrapped her legs around him so she wouldn’t fall, her weak grip failing as he began to pace down the bridge to a swinging doorway. She looked out from under his thick white collar, muscles straining to stay up. Lord Reg rushed down a corridor of water-transparent, bubble-like walls with people who not only resembled him but were also wearing similar white coats. They stood behind tall tables or stared into space while talking to themselves.

Where ever they went she heard a strong female voice repeat, “Regan Todd, please come to Mace Terminal, Regan Todd to Mace Terminal.”

Is Lord Reg, Regan? Is this his world?

She continued to watch as they passed room after room filled with these weird beings, some with longer fur on their heads than Reg. Others were wearing bubbles over their eyes and were holding similar bubbles, which looked solid because their were strange liquids inside them. Behind them were even more of these bubbles behind even more transparent walls.

They can’t be ice, can they? If they are, it would explain why they are all wearing coats.

Everywhere there were lights and things that seemed to frozen in the air. Amazingly it was all smooth and shiny and almost completely with the scent of living things other than whatever race Lord Reg belonged to, a fact that no one else seemed to be bothered by.

Where am I? Why can’t I smell any other Reharens?

Reg swiftly turned a corner and touched a glowing area on the black wall. The glow pulsed and a part of the wall lifted up. Reg shuffled in and it closed again behind him.

“Alright, let go. You’ll have to wait here until I’m done with my report. Damn, ah, if you’re hungry, there’s that draw but…”

Cuspphire slid out from under his coat tail and looked around the room, relieved to see  a form of cot in the narrow room. She was exhausted from whatever had happened to her and needed to rest.  Nevertheless, she turned to him before he could leave.

“W-where are we?” She leaned on the bed as Reg pulled of his white coat. “What is this place?”

Reg smirked and looked over his shoulder as the door opened again. “As far as we’re concerned, the most technologically advanced system in the universe, otherwise known as Earth.”

“Ers?” she asked as he left and door slid down behind him.

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