Choosing Your Setting

"A story is in its setting because it could be nowhere else," award-winning mystery author Susan Dunlap often tells aspiring writers.

Sometimes the "nowhere else" is clear from the outset. An intriguing place triggers your imagination, providing the flour idea. Hiking up a rocky trail into a box canyon or driving past a Victorian mansion that is falling to ruin, you realize there must be a story here. Characters might stroll into your mind with their locales firmly attached. You know from the outset that she does social work in a Miami ghetto, that he herds cattle on a Montana ranch, that she attends school in an upscale suburban neighborhood, that he is a manager who pushes paper in a corporate high-rise, that she is a cop who walks a gritty city beat.

At other times you may need to think hard to figure out just where your story's "nowhere else" could be. You have a premise and a character or two, but they won't come alive because you haven't found the right place to put them. How do you know where they belong?

Accomplishing Your True Calling

Accomplishing Your True Calling

Align Yourself To Your Passions And Take On The World With Your Power! Let your heart and soul help you discover the correct course. Take note that the word courage is in the word encouragement. Once we identify the course with a heart and soul, we feel boosted to get moving.

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