It may sound fairly straight-forward and simple, but it’s really quite complex. Readers need to feel the cohesiveness of feeling like they are really ‘there’ – in your story, during that time period. This not only requires crafting, but research too.
The most well-loved, memorable, and meaningful stories had a distinct time and place which couldn’t have occured as affectively anywhere else. For example, Charles Dickens’ brilliant stories cannot be separated from London. I can’t imagine Frodo living anywhere else, except the Shire and Middle Earth.
In my upcoming December release, I’ve created the town of Ransom, Virginia – a small community that reminds me a lot of the Blue Ridge Mountain town in which I grew up: Small population, close-knit families, quaint downtown, and amazing scenic views. I want readers to walk the streets of Ransom and Mitchells’ Crossroads as they journey along with the characters.
In my historical, The Thorn Bearer, and book two, The Thorn Keeper, I’ve tried to recreate the feel of the World War 1 era. The uncertainty, the change and energy… the small English villages, manor houses, and clothing.
All of those things make a storyworld.
Developing a strong story world helps readers take a trip and never leave their chair.
It gives me a great sense of joy and awe to think that, because of my Christian perspective, the stories and novels I write might give a sense of hope to those who read them. Through the time, place, characters, dialogue, and exposition – readers will sense the beautiful truth of hope in the Lord, no matter the circumstances. What a wonderful goal for which to aspire!