Category: Writing Mechanics

Setting Again

We’ve looked at Time and Place as image makers or visuals; let’s take our visual one step further. Let us investigate using setting as a device to advance our plot. By emphasizing our setting in a fresh new way, we can engage cause and effect to produce twists and turns in our story. Hmmm, this could become interesting.


Time and Place

We can’t begin to build our set until we’ve decided on time and place. Time decides technology, values, history, pace. Place adds definition to time. Together they impact our story with significant limitations and freedoms unique. Choosing time and place are essential ingredients to workability of plot, as well as growth and change of character. Careful attention to making this choice can be the difference between a tale that transports the reader from page to page in our tale, or to someone else’s story.

Setting in Writing

Setting is a topic often neglected in text books on writing. Yet setting is an important element in all writing, especially in fiction. Setting is the building blocks by which we create a world our reader has never experienced, a world both sensorial and subjective. In unfolding our world we mustn’t assume anything about our reader’s background. Our job is to paint each scene in a video panorama of detail sufficient to bring our story to breathing life. To perform our task successfully, we must consider certain crucial elements like time and place.

Writers Have A Problem

Writers have a problem. Images live within us, alive, vital. Our mission is to unveil each scene as we feel it kinetically, emotionally and intellectually. Our reader should visualize important elements in a scene as we see them: smell the rain, feel the tap of raindrops, or the touch of a hand. We must warm him or her with sunshine, chill with snow, romance with love, scare with hate. Our reader must share in our experience lest we fail to communicate that story we hope we are telling.

Image Makers–Writers

We may lie in our beds at night, or sit before our computers. We feel the brush of an eyelash caress a cheek, hot breath tickling our neck; smell the lilacs in bloom or the honeysuckle; taste the salt in perspiration or sweet heat of the jalapeno. We are there in the palace, the factory, or the ghetto. Our senses sit in readiness for us like soldiers primed to carry out our orders, facilitating scenes directors only dream about. We have a special built in team of image makers. We’re born with them. We’re writers.

Marie Kinneer’s Blog


The stimulus to create comes from different avenues. My first novel was inspired by a Christmas special I watched on TV in the early ’70’s. Almost one thousand pages later, I was finally finished with The Thin Man Band. I am committed to tell an honest story that is both entertaining and true to my experience of life and the characters that have peopled it. If that comes out a little ribald at times and even old-Hollywood at others . . . that’s just how it is.

The stories just keep coming to me. They rattle around in my head, sometimes for years, before their birth. Because they are living breathing people, they need to be born to the printed page where they can show their frailties, fears, and exhibit all the scars life has brought to them.

There are so many things I want to say and each novel takes so much time. Since I have retired I do write more but I fear I will never get to express it all. There is my parent’s memoir set in Brooklyn during the Great Depression that I have been working on for twenty years. I keep putting a mystery on hold for higher priorities. And last, and not near the least, is my own memoir. Working on this, I have realized a true fear in reliving my own life. I now understand the courage it takes to write one’s own life. Here, I am in a different position; the pain and heart break that the story tells is my own pain and heart break. I believe this will be my greatest challenge.

For more information on my, soon to be published, works go to my website: