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A Writer's Guide to Active Setting by Dianna Love, Mary Buckham

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Introduction

Setting can be one of the most underused tools in a writer’s toolbox, but it shouldn’t be.

Setting involves much more than stringing together a list of adjectives or dumping a chunk of visual clues to orient the reader. It can create the world of your story, show characterization, add conflict, slow or speed up your pacing, add or decrease tension, relate a character’s backstory, thread in emotion, and more. Some authors are known for creating Settings that are so deeply integrated into the story that when readers step away, they still find themselves in the place described on the page.

Think of Setting as the stage that contains your story—it should be as important as any character, whether you choose to write sparsely or in great ...

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