There are so many vital things you have to consider when writing a novel. However, as a short story writer I want to discuss the importance of the setting. The reason I called my short story series Tales From The Longcroft Estate was that I wanted a clear place in mind, even if it is a fictional place.
A good setting should ideally be somewhere you can relate to. It doesn’t have to be somewhere you’ve lived just a place you have a strong image of and can go back to in your head and draw from. With my Tales From The Longcroft Estate the setting is a cross between a few different places I knew growing but have embellished. It takes a lot of time and effort to research new places so the writers friend is always that place remembered fondly from childhood. You have to consider what to include in your new setting. Remember to make it appropriate. If I were to include an Armani shop on the Longcroft Estate even if it was not shoplifted of all stock within the first hour of trading no one would be able to afford their prices, it’s just not that kind of area.
A good deal of realism can come from your setting. You can believe that there would be a Kebab shop in the area. You can believe there would be a bookies near the pub. Would there be a golf club? Of course not.
Dialogue is a very important when considering realism. If your story is set in Sunderland you don’t want to be using Cockney rhyming slang every other sentence. If you have a couple of hoody wearing gang members you don’t want them speaking like upper class twits as they beat up their rivals. Dialogue is a whole other blog post but consider the less is more rule. If you are unsure of how you want your characters speak then actions speak louder than words. Sometimes a single word can be more effective than a whole sentence.
Darren Sant is a 41 year old writer from Hull in the UK.
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