Jamaica, Understanding Story Setting, and Get Prepping to Write

Dec 27, 2021 6:18 pm

Good afternoon!

I hope you are getting excited about our trip to Jamaica; I know I am. To prepare for our writing retreat, I want you to think about your story setting. The wonderful thing is, our story setting will be all around us, where we can smell the Caribbean, taste the culture, and inhale the balmy breezes of the Jamaican night air. Negril and the Azul Beach Resort is a magnificent setting in which to base your story.

Setting is a literary device that allows the writer of a narrative to establish the time, location, and environment in which it takes place. For example, the fairy tale "Cinderella" traditionally features a backdrop setting, such as long ago in a faraway kingdom.

There are five elements to a story setting. The elements of setting – time, place, mood, social and cultural context – help to make a novel feel real and alive.



How to Describe Setting in Writing

Use sensory details. Use all five senses to describe the immediate surroundings to the reader as an immersion in the environment of your story.

Show, don't tell.

Tell: It scared Jason when he saw the monster.

Show: Jason's heart raced as a shadowy figure caught the corner of his eye.

Tell: Kati loved Daniel and wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.

Show: Kati held Daniel in her arms, daydreaming about the first time he touched her and what song they might dance to at their wedding.

Use real-life locations... well, okay.


Incorporate figurative language.

"She sweeps with many-colored brooms, and leaves the shreds behind; Oh, housewife in the evening west, come back, and dust the pond!"

Jaques: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts."

Keep it simple.

A story should have a beginning—this is the inciting incident, the one event which sends the character on a journey. Either they are better for the trip, which forces the character to grow, or they come out worse for the wear.

A story needs a middle which makes sense. The character has started this journey, and the rug has gotten pulled out from under them. Now they either have to keep going or call it quits. We need them to keep going.

How does it end? At the end of the story, does the character receive the happily ever after, or does it all fall apart.

Think about it, and next month, we'll talk about characters, story arc, and more.

Our Jamaica Irie Schedule

Thursday, February 24- Arrival check in, and all White Reception

Friday, February 25- Conference Tees and Blinged out sandals

Saturday, February 26- Wear your best florals and wonderful straw hats

Sunday, February 27 – Hour of Power Service

Monday, February 28- Departure Day

Loads of love,

Happy New Year and See you in Negril.

Olivia Gaines

USA TODAY Bestselling Author

Romance Writer with Heart & Humor

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