The Importance of Setting in First Pages

My second component for effective first pages is set up, including that all important setting. Setting grounds your readers.  Until my minds grasps some feel for where we are in time and place, it can’t engage with the story. Setting doesn’t always have to be where you are in the world, sometimes it can be something as simple as the coffee cup you are holding in your hand, the sounds of traffic outside on the street, and the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls.  A woman straightening her hat and anchoring it in place with a hat pin will place your character in a much different time than a woman bending over to tie the laces of her running shoes.

Writers often put in too much setting or not enough. You don’t need a lot to anchor your reader, but you do need some. Go back to the beginning pages of your manuscript or story and look for setting. Does your reader know where you are? The year or era? Have you bogged your reader down with too much setting?  Look for  these details in the text and ground your reader.


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