Maximize Your Setting: Bringing Locations, Eras and Worlds to Life on the Page

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When the reader can feel as if they are physically in your story’s setting, they will be more inclined to let themselves experience what the characters are seeing and hearing. Here, author Curt Eriksen offers considerations for bringing the locations and eras in your fiction to life.

By Curt Eriksen

Joseph Conrad defined the job of the writer who aspires to produce art as that of making you, the reader, “hear”—via “the power of the written word.” It is, he wrote, my task “to make you feel—it is, before all, to make you see.”

Conrad’s emphasis upon the presentation of sensory material has been echoed in every MFA program across the country. Aspiring writers are told to affect the senses of t…

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