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Ian Rankin Jack Reacher Kevin McCloud Lee Child Rebus Story Story Setting Writing Process

Where You Live.

In, British designer and tv presenter, Kevin McLoud’s 43 Principles of Home, he makes the following observations in Principle 16,

Make the context of where you live part of your narrative . . . Research local history . . . Memorise your landmarks . . . Study the flora, fauna, and geology of your place . . .

And most importantly,

Invent a story for your place.

So what is the story of your place?

I confess to being poor at the background setting and surroundings. For me a building is a building and the number of floors might make a difference if I need the protagonist to jump off, but I’m not to fussy about the name or the colour or any other feature of significance.

However, for many novels and stories, the place is significant.

Reviewers and journalists write of Inspector Morse’s Oxford, or Rebus’ Edinburgh. Lee Child gives the latest place Jack Reacher visits a name and some curious quirk of past history, even if he does confess to making some of it up on occasion.

So, consider giving your story’s location an overhaul in terms of location information.

Readers seem to like being able to fix a story to a particular location.

Or, consider where you live and, as per Principle 16, invent a story for right there.

By Herbie

Writer, Christian, Husband and Father.

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