Geography in Writing

So this is my first official post. My blood is pumping. My nerves have made my stomach feel like scrambled eggs. My brain is so fried it’s like toast. Also I am evidently hungry for breakfast and I would probably work something about bacon in there if I could think of anything. In any case, I think it best if I just jump in the deep end and hope I don’t sink. So that brings us to the subject matter at hand…

Geography in Writing. Geography may seem a little off topic, but it’s surprisingly important in all types of fiction writing and poetry. If you aren’t willing to put some time and effort into finding out the lay of the land you are trying to work with or even in crafting your own land, you’re going to come across some problems. No, no don’t worry. You’ll only run up against small little problems such as plot holes, inconsistency, and create an overall disbelief in your readers.

Okay, so it’s a definitely a problem. ‘Why’ you ask? Well in order to place your characters and your story in a believable setting that your readers can get behind, you’re going to need to know what kind of land is found between a forest and a desert or mountains and the ocean. If you’re writing a character that is living in the forest on his own, you’re going to need to know what that land is going to look like and how it’s going to effect your character lives and the plot.

At this point you may want to argue, in the case of fantasy and sci-fi, that you don’t need to do research because you create whatever kind of land you want for whatever reason, but your readers aren’t going to believe something that isn’t either heavily explained or makes sense to what they already know.

Not only is the lay of the land important, but you want to intimately know all the factors that go along with the type of land you are working with; what kinds of animals will be in the area, what the weather might be, and the like. Even when dealing with a land type or area you are familiar with, some research may need to be done.

So do your readers a favor and give them something to read that makes sense and won’t pull them out of the story.

Sources you may want to look at…

10 Things Writers Don’t Know About The Woods

Are You Asking These Important Questions About Your Fantasy Setting?

Getting to Know the Setting of a Story

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