Research your setting well

Research your setting well

If you do not want to set your story on the city you live in, then get ready to do some research. It is important that you visit the place you are going to write about. Some writers do it with characters too. If they are writing about a murderer, they will go and interview one to know his psychology. For your setting too, you need to know the psychology of the city, town or village in which your characters live.

Below is a broad guideline on what all to include in your research:

City– Small town, city, countryside, country, village

Geographical aspects– Mountains, rivers, beaches, desert, forest, ocean, hills, plains, vegetation, animals

Culture– Clothes, shops, streets, people, religion, language (dialect)

Climate– Hot, cold, moderate, desert, tropical

There can be more than one setting in your book. For shorter works of fiction, having one setting is best, but for longer works, you can have more settings than one. In Life of Pie by Yann Martel, there were three settings, the zoo in India, the ocean and Mexico (the last one was only a glimpse). He dealt with all the settings brilliantly. That is because he had visited India many times and knew it well. Of course, the writer cannot experience everything he wants to write about. Yann Martel never experienced a shipwreck, still he wrote about it. That is what research does. In one of his interviews he said that he researched about animal behavior for months on end on the Internet after he decided that the story would involve lots of animals.


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