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develop the setting

Develop the Setting: the Somewhere of Your Story

Writers seem to grasp that every memoir needs well-developed characters and actions, but the same is always not true when they are asked to develop the setting of their memoir.

Develop the Setting

The term “setting” is generally understood to refer to the physical “where” in which your memoir takes place. This can be a city or a rural neighborhood, a state or province, a country. This sense of setting includes a house and a room and a street. If your pen were a movie camera, the setting would be what your camera would eventually project onto the screen.

In this first sense, setting is a physical and tangible element. Even when the physical setting no longer exists, your obligation as a memoirist is to reproduce it in your pages as if it were still there. The reader feels as if s/he were in the midst of the world that once was.

The memoir setting includes both where and when your story occurs.

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