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blog 6 Tips for Adding Life to Your Locations

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Svrtnsse, May 20, 2019.

  1. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Svrtnsse submitted a new blog post:

    6 Tips for Adding Life to Your Locations
    by Nils Ödlund


    Fantasy writers like to talk about world building, but what do you do once the world has been built?

    One of the things I enjoy with fantasy is how it can transport me to a different world. A place that only exists in my mind. To achieve this, world building is important, but it's also important to create a sense of place for the scenes of the story.

    I want the locations to feel like they could be real places – somewhere I could visit.

    How to achieve that?

    The basic principle is as follows: give your reader a chance to put something of themselves into the scene, and they'll make it their own.

    This is what makes it come alive to them. It's no longer just a description, but a place that exists in their mind, and which they helped create themselves.

    It may sound a bit whimsy, but it's not really all that complicated. Here are few tips that work for me.

    Level of Detail

    Do not overdo it with the descriptions. Rather than describing a location in exact detail, give the reader just enough information for them to be able to create their own impression of what it's like, and then leave it at that.

    It's easy to think that a fully detailed description is better, as it provides a closer representation of the writer's vision, but this isn't necessarily the case.

    Add too much detail, and the described location changes from a scene to a list of attributes.

    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
    AnnieO, Gotis and Ban like this.
  2. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    You're very welcome. Glad you like it. :)
  3. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Happy to hear you found it helpful.

    As for Tolkien, it's been close to twenty years since last I read his books, and I shouldn't really be commenting.
    That said, what I hear a lot is that he does go on at length about it, and that some readers will get annoyed with it

    On a general note though, I think that being detailed about the way a location looks is not a requirement for giving it a sense of place. I believe that if the reader gets to use their own imagination a little, what they imagine will feel more real to them, and it will better fit in with what they've imagined previously in the story.
    Black Dragon likes this.
  4. Darkfantasy

    Darkfantasy Inkling

    For the first time I am creating a setting that doesn't exist. Well, it could exist but we living have no idea what it's like anyway...I found this helpful so great timing!
    Black Dragon and Svrtnsse like this.
  5. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Great, happy to hear it - and best of luck. :)
    Darkfantasy likes this.

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