While plot and characters draw readers to fiction, stories must take place in a particular location and at a certain time.

Setting is the place and time of a story. Simply put, setting is used to give characters a place to play out their actions and dialogue. I often think that within a story setting there should be some unique features. Readers must be able to visualize the setting easily, but readers don’t want to go to ordinary locations they’ve been to before. They want to visit new exciting places.

The setting of my book, Stink Bomb, is Riverbank. Of course, Riverbank has several physical locations within its borders. One central location is the Fallen Leaf where, Grub, the main character lives.

How does the writer introduce the setting of a story? The answer, usually right away in a story and along with the characters. Here’s how I did it.

“Grub heard the sounds of spring as he peered up through the sticks and leaves. It looked like a beautiful day, but Grub knew better, and so did everybody else. Riverbank had been invaded, and he was powerless to do anything about it.”

Riverbank is Grub’s home in my story and it is a place of great beauty worth defending. That is why when Grub hears that the spiders have spun a giant web in another part of Riverbank called the Green Towers, he decides to go on an adventure. He leaves the safety of his home and ventures out. Read how I paint a picture of the whole of Riverbank in this paragraph.

“After a short trek, Grub and Centipede crossed the dirt path that divided Riverbank. Behind them lay Flower Hill, and a short distance ahead sat the Green Towers. Not far beyond the scratchy foxtails and weeds that littered the roadside were damp patches of wet dirt and tall blades of grass. They soldiered on, catching a whiff of something that reminded Grub of the dew covered plants and dirt where he lived. He knew they were close. In fact, he could almost see the lush stalks that were home to grasshoppers and bugs of every kind. At last, he and Centipede reached the border of the Green Towers.”

Creating a vibrant setting is one of the best parts of writing for me. If done well, the setting of your story will be easy to visualize and exciting to read about.