Where in the World–A little bit about the setting.

For the last month or so, I have been taking you through the process in which a tiny idea grows into an entire novel. We have covered how the idea came as the answer to a writing prompt, how I turned the tiny snippet that was my response into the premise for an entire novel, who the main character is and more of his backstory, and then we have learned about the other key players in the plot. This week I am going to touch on the setting.

Since this story takes place in Aviandria, I already know a lot about the setting. I know the physical features, I know the politics, the economy, and all the details. After working with it for over eight years, I think I’m getting to know the place pretty well. (By the way, isn’t that map pretty neat? There is this cool website I made it on called Inkarnate. You can make your own here.)However, I don’t want to entirely skip over it, since it would usually be the next step in the process. Also, there are a few details I will want to come up with. Aviandria is a pretty big place. I think it would be good to narrow it down a bit. And, perhaps there will be areas in this story that I haven’t really explored yet. So, there is still some work to do on the setting, just not as much.

I already know at least some of it will take place in Accipitridaelynn, the capital of Aviandria. It is a large city (for Aviandria standards) right on the edge of a bay. It is built on a hillside with the palace crowning the top. There are sheer cliffs on the side of the hill next to the ocean, and the hills that Accipitridaelynn is built on turn into mountains. It has a very strong wall all the way around it, keeping it fairly safe from anybody trying to attack. Like most Aviandrian cities, there are different “districts.” The level closest to the gates is like the farmer’s market. It would be where you would find portable stalls and wagons of fruit and vegetables, and things like that. It seldom is exactly the same two days in a row. It is also where most of the lower income people would live. The next level up would be the people who have a set trade that requires a more stable shop. Here you would find the bakers, the butchers, the candlestick makers—you get the general idea. The level up from that would be your fancier shop owners. Most of these people don’t make the wares you find in the shops. They are more the type of things that would be imported, like trinkets, exotic spices and fabrics, and other specialty items. One up from that is where you would find the “professionals.” These would be where you would find the people like doctors, or lawyers (or at least as close as you can get in Aviandria.) The last level closest to the palace are for people who hold key positions in government, or foreign ambassadors, and things like that. That’s probably even more details than we will need for the story, but it gives you a broad picture.

I’ve been debating where the outlaw group will be operating. After looking at my options, I have decided to place them in the areas surrounding Talonlock, since that is the largest city in central Aviandria, and it would be the are most likely to get the sort of traffic the outlaws would prey off of. You might be able to find it on the map if you zoom in. There are other possible locations, but I think that is where I am going to choose. My other question is, where exactly do the outlaws make their base. For this question, I have to put myself in the mind-frame of Mikae, the leader of these outlaws. From what I know about him, he has a proud personality, and he wouldn’t find the life of just roughing it in the forest all that appealing, yet he is too frivolous to have a nice home of his own he can secretly work out of. Yet, he likes to put on the appearances of being rich, so I’m thinking most likely, he would have found some place that would have been nice at some point, but has fallen into disrepair and been abandoned. At first, it looks kind of nice, but if you inspect it closely, you can see it has a bunch of issues. He uses cheap imitations of finery to try and cover up all the problems, but they are still there. The roof leaks like crazy in the rain (Mikae is too lazy to try and fix it) and the fireplaces smoke horribly because the chimneys aren’t properly cared for. As a result, the walls are always dirty. It seems like a place that would be easily discovered by those trying to get rid of the outlaws, but the outlaws always post guards and have a system for evacuating it and making it appear as if nobody lives there by the time anybody gets close. So far, it has worked well for them. Nobody’s ever been able to catch them there.

The last place I know about at this time is the tavern/inn near Talonlock where the outlaws go to find their recreation. It is the tavern owned by Jennalea’s father. It is fairly well kept, and frequented by all sorts of people. Though the outlaws are some of the rougher customers, they know better than to make a scene there, so they contain themselves slightly. They find it incredibly handy to go there and get a look at the sort of people who will be on the roads the next day and make plans from their findings.

So, now we have the setting planned out a bit. As with the characters, there might be other places that pop up in the course of the story, but these will probably be our main ones. Next week, we will work on our basic plot map. We will make a list of the big things that need to happen and their order.

Are there any other types of settings you think would fit well in this story? What are they? (Who knows, maybe we can use them!)

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