How to Choose the Right Setting for Your Story

The right setting can bring a story to life for the reader They can increase tension, capture the imagination, change the story’s pace. A story might have an elaborate and detailed setting or hint at one, leaving it up to the readers to fill in the details. All are effective in their own way, and the types of settings you might use will vary depending on genre and the story you want to tell.

See Your Scenes Through the Eyes of the Reader

As writers, we often get so caught up in making sure we have all the proper elements in place we forget who our stories are meant for—the reader. Most readers know nothing of the work that goes into building a story from the ground up. They’re merely looking for a great story. One that draws on their heartstrings, allows them to step outside their dreary lives, and has them dying to know what happens next. These are the elements we need to capture in our stories.

How to Use Tension to Keep Your Readers Engaged in the Story

Just as a story thrives on conflict, it also thrives on the tension created by that conflict. Tension creates a sense of unknown and leaves the readers wondering what is going to happen next. It is vital to keeping the story alive in the reader’s mind, and to do so, there must be some form of tension in every scene, preferably every page. Even if the tension isn't resolved in the current scene, it can set the stage for future events and keep the reader turning the pages.

What Motivates Your Characters to Take Action?

Whether we know it or not, the events and people around us can affect us in ways we don’t even realize, sometimes motivating actions we normally wouldn’t dream of taking. We act out in anger in the blink of an eye before we even comprehend what made us angry in the first place. We shut down in shock when we’re subjected to trauma too great for us to handle. We don’t always choose to act the way we do, but there is always a reason, even if it’s buried deep in our subconscious. The same is as true for our characters as it is for us, affecting everything in our story from plot to conflict to stakes.