Your Setting Is Like a Soundscape

Amanda Bussman
4 min readNov 16
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Let’s discuss one of the building blocks of your stories. Besides characters, what is the foundation that needs to be established?

If you said setting, give yourself 10 points.

The setting is what brings you into the world of your characters. It’s your free space to build up what you’re trying to show your audience. Don’t you want your audience to get locked into the world you’re building?

Before you throw words on paper and hope for the best, let’s talk about what makes a good setting and how you want your readers to feel when they begin to enter your world.

Does Engagement Matter?

Is pulling your audience into your story actually important? Is it really that imperative to give your readers a strong visual representation of what the world is?


Dialog and character development are both important aspects of any story. These aspects rely heavily upon the setting in which they’re placed. Your audience wants something tangible. To feel as if they’re grasping the world around them they need to be able to see the things you’re describing.

Take a moment to consider some of the literary works that stand out to us. Are you able to see the overwhelming surroundings of Hogwarts Castle? Did you ever want to taste the food in George R. R. Martin’s tales? Or perhaps it’s the greenery in the Lord of the Rings books that gets you.

These distinct images are because the setting of the stories has been so well constructed.

It’s more than words on a page. It’s a visual art of being able to learn what it’s like to be in another space and time. Developing your setting is one of the cornerstones of anything you’re going to write.

What Makes a Good Setting?

One thing that does need to be acknowledged is that a good setting is subjective. A beautiful thing about the human brain is that we all think and enjoy different things. What might work for one reader isn’t always going to be the case with another.

What is the key to a great setting? Believability.

Amanda Bussman

If you're looking for a writing coach and someone who is working through generational trauma, you've come to the right place. OH! I hope you like Taylor Swift!