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Writing Blockbuster Plots by Martha Alderson

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Chapter Eighteen

The Time and Setting Column

The time and setting are two essential plot elements used in scene to help ground the reader in the here and now of the story.

By referencing the date—which can be the time of day, the week, the month, the year, or even the season—you help the reader settle into the now of the front story. Positioning your story in time allows the reader to detach from his real time, his immediate thoughts, and all the different directions he may be pulled in his real life to enter a different time—the time of the story.

Settings, in turn, fulfill a multitude of functions. One powerful purpose of the setting is to give the reader a sense of where she is and how life functions there when she is buried in the pages of ...

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