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Thursday, April 4, 2013

One Way to Get Ideas for a Setting

I found I was missing an important element of writing a story when trying to write an idea for a Fantasy ebook.  I had the characters, conflict, and general outline of the story figured out.  When I put my pencil against my notebook paper, I realized I somehow forgot to figure out the setting of my story. Sometimes coming up with the setting for a story can be difficult. 

My fantasy story is set in my state of residence so making up a different world was not necessary. I needed to pick a nearby or far off neighborhood with a lake and start the story there. 

1. Simply typing my state and the neighborhood into Google's search engine was not enough. I never saw my desired neighborhood in Google images or I did not see anything inspirational for my writing.

2. I thought Youtube videos would work for me since there are a lot of people who do video logs outside in their backyard.  I targeted video logs with lakes in the background.  I still wanted to see more of the background.

3. Watching videos on TV or informative shows about lakes gave me the feel of what life by a lake was like.  This was information that I really do need but I felt like I wanted more.

Finally I felt like moving away from lakes and writing about oceans and life at the beach.  My state has a well known beach which plenty of tourists travel to during the summer.  At times, I would visit this beach to go swimming, shopping, and observing the tourists.  There are plenty of concerts, carnivals, and other forms of entertainment at specific seasons of the year at this beach.

With all the events going on there, I knew this beach was a good place to set my story in for conflicts and characters.  The best part about this beach was that I could visit the beach on my time off and experience the shopping, concerts, and carnivals myself.  When I am done and ready to leave, I could simply take pictures and look at them for reference.

Sometimes we need to touch the sand, smell the salt, listen to the seagulls cry, or hear the loud music of concerts in order to get inspiration for writing settings. I am fond of searching on Google for ideas, looking at video logs of people's experience on Youtube, or informational shows on TV.  However nothing beats real life experiences.