Hi, it is good to have you back here and thank you for joining me.

I’ve been thinking about all sorts, and ways to ‘create a setting’ is one of them.

Please note I do not claim to be a writing guru. The list below is for you to get started on your writing journey.

Yes, of course you can find loads on the internet as someone decided to tell me on my blog. Thank you. In fact, I’ve just found something that I think is brilliant, and I’ve included a clip.

So here goes:

Get yourself settled and comfortable, in your happy place. Kick off your shoes. Have a glass of water. Get a comfy cushion. Go to the park. What ever floats your boat.

Allow yourself time to think, but don’t spend hours on each of the headings. Absolute maximum 10 minutes. Right?

Bullet point if necessary, whatever works for you. I don’t want you to give up before you start. If you manage to complete them all you may well be on the way to having a basic outline at the end. Oh, and if you stumble with any of them, leave it, and move on! You can always come back to it another time.

If you feel however, you love what you are writing. For goodness’ sake don’t stop! I congratulate you.

  1. Generate a first line.

‘He/she was rich, famous, and talented, but he/she didn’t get there without making enemies…’ you can use this if it works to get you started.

2. Describe the time of day, season, as well as the place and of course the weather. Where do you want your story to begin?

I’ve seen:

…it was a dark and stormy night. I’ve read: ‘it was midnight…’ or ‘the witching hour.’ all a bit cliché.

The idea of a clock striking thirteen times has also shown up many times in literature. The most famous is the first line in George Orwell ‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four when it starts with, “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen”.

This was different to the norm, it caught people’s attention. This is often called ‘the hook.’ Those first lines and pages are so important to get the reader to read on.

(He has already begun to write about the five senses)

3. Think about the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch as suggested below.

five senses
‘…. imagine yourself there. Close your eyes if it helps (after you’ve read the following…)

– What do you see? For example, what buildings or natural formations? Are there any people? Animals, plants?

– What do you hear? Smell? What textures can you feel? Can you taste anything? Use any or all of your senses.

– Zoom in, make a note of details. ….Too much description can be boring!’ This came from: which I think is brilliant.

4. What looks out of place or unusual or what has just happened to take your interest, even for a second?

They give a clue to where we are, what’s going on around us.  Where do you want them to be?

For example: Are they on a train or in a church or at school or a car park a coffee shop. All of that type of detail can be described very quickly.

Just write coffee shop.

Is there a clattering of cups, knives and forks?

Just write: clattering of cups, knives and forks.

The waiter dropped the tray.

Friend arrives.


Action/reaction can come later, but if you see it already, write it! Briefly.

5. Write a brief outline of your protagonist. Get a sense of who they are. There is a character sheet on one of my previous blog posts you can refer to later, but just get a feel of your hero right now.

6. Write a brief outline of your antagonist. Same as above.

Ask questions to make the reader empathise with your character. Also build your villain’s story so the reader can ‘love to hate.

It is important for the reader to want to like or dislike your character. The villain should shine out as much as the protagonist.

7. Real or imaginary world?

If you can create a whole new world, brilliant. This will need time. Write a brief description to get your juices flowing so when you come back to it you have an outline already done.

The alternative is to base a setting on somewhere you know and then invent the details, like names and places.

8. Find the right name for your characters.

This is tough for some. They are also important for you to feel comfortable when writing about them.

You may remember someone in your past you liked, or didn’t. This may influence your choice. Swop their first or surname with someone else’s. Also, whether their name would fit in with the time, (era).

Here’s a few ideas where you might find some help:

Baby names.

Visit a graveyard

Famous names, mix the forename and surnames up.

Street names.

9. Lull your reader into a false sense of security that all is well.

‘She was reading a book. A message with a smiley emoji pinged in from a friend.’

10. Atmosphere:

Build tension from what you can smell, feel, see.

What, or who is dangerous, and why?

As an additional bit of information, and I’m certain you know this…Pace: Use a mixture of long and short sentences.

Shorter sentences or fragments can also be used to create tension.

Well that’s all for now folks. I hope you found this useful.

If you would do me the honour of sharing my link to your family, friends and anyone else who may be interested I would really appreciate it. The Twenty-One-Year Contract will be available from 9th May and is available for pre-order.

Oh, one last thing. If you fancy a bit of a quiz. A chance to win a kindle copy of one of my books, then please visit the 5 ‘A bit of quiz’ blogs and you can read what to do. All you need is to collect the answers over the five ‘A bit of a quiz’ posts which will be generated randomly until the 6th May. I am advising when the next one is out on my fb page.

I will then collect your answers via d.m. fb. on and the first person to get them all right will receive a free copy.

Easy peasy.

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