10 Steps to Writing a Novel: Step 3 – So Where Are We Anyway?

Characters – Check

Plot – Check

But hang on a minute…where are we? This is the point where you build your world. It might be that your story is set in a place that already exists in which case I recommend studying up on the particular area you’re after (I hate doing this but I’m going to have study London for my sequel). Building your own world is supposed to be fun because it’s your world and what you say goes. If you want a mountain range shaped like jam jars then you go ahead and write that. As long as your characters have somewhere to run around in with areas that are relevant to the story (relevance is key!) then you’re pretty much ready to move on to the next stage, however there’s just a few more tips I’d like to give before step 4:

Make sure the place names fit with the genre you are writing

You wouldn’t find Sunshine Shore in a horror story unless it was a comedy horror or there was irony involved. At the same time, don’t over do it – Death Canyon is a little too O.T.T.


Yeah, places might need it too. Especially cities, it’s always important to have a backstory lined up for the main area even if t doesn’t crop up. You never know if it will.

Weather should fit too

As with place names, keep the weather in-keeping with the genre but also with the place name. It rains a lot in the Rain Forest and it’s always hot in the Sahara Desert (except at night when it freezes – it’s true, look it up).

~ by Jess Wiles on February 5, 2011.

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