Having an identifiable setting in a novel is key for helping the reader feel grounded in the space and time of the story. For that to happen, the writer must establish the novel’s time period, cultural climate, geography, and interior and exterior locations. This kind of world building is especially essential in genres like science fiction and fantasy, where the setting could be vastly different to what we’re familiar with, but I think it is also vital for historical fiction, because stepping two hundred (or two thousand!) years into the past is still stepping into a world unlike our own.
My historical fiction series, A Matter of Class, takes place during the first half of the 19th century and the first instalment, A Class Apart, is set in rural Ireland in 1828. I have placed a lot of emphasis on constructing the setting in the book so that the reader will feel comfortable within the environs of Continue reading