Writing – How do you choose a setting?

On our sister site willblyton.com, we’re looking at choosing a setting – any opinions would be appreciated.

Will Blyton - The Alternative Detective




At the moment, I am writing a free in between story for our willblyton.com website.  It is called” Will Blyton and The Maggoty Motleys” and I’m being either brave or stupid as the work in progress is being posted.  The Will Blyton books are aimed at 9-12 year olds and explore time travel and will be introducing William Shakespeare and his plays in the books and free stories.


The setting for Will Blyton and The Maggoty Motleys is a children’s literary festival in 2006.  This probably seems like a strange place to set a children’s story but around that time my family were going to a lot of children’s literary festivals and seeing a very mixed bag of children’s writers. This was one of the reasons I felt the urge to set a children’s story at a fictional festival.  Seeing such a range of different…

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Filed under About Loony Literature

7 responses to “Writing – How do you choose a setting?

  1. Actually, another great way for choosing a location for your book is to use a location that reflects, contrasts or complements your protagonist’s character. Think Miss Marple and Saint Mary Mead, The Famous Five and the wild coast, Poirot who hates the countryside and loves city life, James Bond who is at home in casinos, night clubs and the glamour of Monte Carlo, Artemis Fowl who at home lives in 5-star accommodation but is a little at sea, when deprived of his gadgets and luxuries the moment he enters the fairies’ world or E F Benson’s Mapp and Lucia characters, two arch rivals and snobs who battle it out in a traditional English seaside resort – all of these have in common that they are either defined by the places they choose to live in or by the places they avoid. I used this method for Willow the Vampire, as she is defined by her dislike for London/cities and her love for the countryside.

    • Yes, this is a great device to use. I love Mapp and Lucia, it is one of my all time favourites. I love the books and also the televised version which I watch every so many years depending how much my family will put up with it – I love Prunella Scales.

      • Oh, me too. I’ve read the books lots of times, perfect summer read, I find. The Geraldine McEwan/Prunela Scales TV version is perfection, I agree. Once saw PS on stage in an Alan Bennett play about the Queen, She was fantastic, more the queen than the real E.II

      • More coincidences – I saw PS perform with her husband with son Sam West in the audience with Harold Pinter (obviously before he died) this was all in Sheffield of all places. I am now wondering how many other coincidences we will discover. Can’t believe you love that tv version in the same way I do – it’s wonderful. My internet is playing up unfortunately so getting on is a bit spasmodic at the moment.

      • I keep telling you – we’re twins! There’s a whole novel in our internet relationship, the way we found each other on WP and the way we’ve discovered how much we have in common…sorry to hear you’re having trouble with your internet connection, it’s horrible when that happens. Do you have a public WIFI zone nearby? Libraries usually offer that.

      • Well I am certainly intrigued to find out what other things have happened along the way. I’ve got to catch up on all the blog reading now.

  2. Pingback: Will Blyton and The Maggoty Motleys – Chapter Four. « Will Blyton – The Alternative Detective

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