SinC Puget Sound

April 2022 Meeting Recap: Why Setting is More Than a Place

Wendy Kendall - Erica Miner
Wendy Kendall & Erica Miner

In a well-attended meeting including guests from as far away as Ohio and Virginia, Wendy and Erica delivered an informative program on how to create settings to enhance your story. Using examples from their books and life experiences, topics covered included:

“Where am I?”

  • From a reader’s perspective, why it’s important to know setting in each scene
  • How settings involve all five senses

Types of Settings

  • Ways in which settings anchor the reader
  • Types: real, fictional, and amalgam (fictional but part of real world)

Settings and Emotional Intensity

  • How setting helps reader experience the story’s impact rather than the telling
  • Includes: time, place, mood, social context and cultural context


  • Practice observation skills with all of your senses and ask yourself how it makes you feel
  • Observe how other people experience settings they are in
  • Be purposeful about setting
  • Integrate setting with plot and character
  • Resource: Writing Active Setting by Mary Buckham