How Does The Setting Affect The Plot?


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Robin Burden Profile
Robin Burden answered
Setting is the term used to refer to the time and place where a story takes place.

Whilst it might not seem that obvious, setting can effect a plot in a number of ways:

How setting affects plot
The setting of a story is often the first thing to be established - as, without giving your reader information about the setting, their imagination might place events in a completely different context.

Imagine someone was telling you the story of Robin Hood. If you didn't know that the story was set in 14th/15th century England, you might easily imagine Robin 'robbing the rich and giving to the poor' in a completely different setting:

  • He could be a futuristic robot which robs from an elite race of alien invaders and gives to poor, enslaved humans.
  • He might be a wily young boy from the slums of Mumbai stealing from rich steel magnates and sharing with his fellow slum-dwellers.
Setting helps define the attributes of the characters involved, but it also sets restrictions on the plot and the progression of the story.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
If there was no setting, there would be no plot. It can affect the person's mood or personality depending on where they are.

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