When you think of all the important story elements you need to outline, setting may not be at the top of your list. It might not even be on your list. But it should be. Setting provides the foundation for every other important element in your story—starting with plot, character, and theme, and progressing right on down to dialogue and narrative tone. Usually, authors immediately know at least the general setting the story takes place in . . . NYC, Mars, Renaissance Italy, colonial Kenya, the Tetons. But that’s just the beginning. Your story will never take place “in NYC,” but in very specific and intimate settings within that setting: the ladies’ room at the Met, that one bench in Central Park, that one backseat in that one taxi on the way to that one apartment. Every single scene you write demands a specific, grounded setting. And every single one of those settings offers you the opportunity to either deepen and strengthen your story—or weaken it. Worth planning ahead of time, don’t you think? 4 Reasons to Outline Your Settings In my experience, the two best ways to tap your story’s best possibilities are to: 1. “ Dreamzone ” […]