Choosing the right setting for your novel is vital but how do we do it?
Familiar or Imaginary
If we choose a familar location it has loads of advantages:
- You can imagine each scene and the descriptions flow effortlessly as you write
- Your audience loves to read about places they know
- Promotion is more straight forward because your initial drive can focus on reaching out to people with links with that location
If we choose a local setting there are added advantages:
- You are more likely to have success with local papers if it is local interest
- You are more likely to be interviewed on local radio
- Local bookshops will feel more parochial and will be happy to promote your work in their ever popular local interest section
- Talks in libraries and to various local groups will be popular
- It is easier for a new author to begin making a name locally
If you choose a holiday location:
- You may have a fresh audience for some years to come
- People often buy books to read on holiday
- People often buy books to remind themselves of a memorable holiday
- The setting is usually beautiful, inspiring, exciting……
- It is a setting which lifts readers beyond their everyday lives
If you choose an imaginary setting then:
- You can let your imagination truly take over
- You are not restricted to accurate detail as long as it is plausible
- You are aiming for a wide audience
- The scenes you evoke stand for themselves and do not need association to be successful
Your setting may have been your original inspiration, as Alderney was mine. As I stood on the Butes wondering what life might have been like in Victorian times I knew I just had to carry out some research. Alderney is unique as a setting for a novel. Many have been written on Guernsey and Jersey but, as far as I know, ‘Riduna’ is the first novel inspired by the beautiful island of Alderney.
My current writing was inspired looking out over a field one day. Very different!
Was it a location which inspired you to write?