Settings in Romance Genres

DeviousColony69

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So I was trying to write a romance novel. I don't have any problems with the characters and the flow of the story, the problem is how to introduce the settings in this genres. Should I make the place, like the location of the school, MC's address, as vague as possible? I could use your tips from the people who has experience in writing romance novel : )
 

Sp4de

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Haven't written romance novels, but I guess a good way to introduce a world or environment would be through discovery.
Like, the MC obviously knows the world around him, but the reader discovers it through a day in the life kind of thing.
You introduce the home as he gets ready in the morning, the school as he walks there and goes throughout his day, his work after school when he begrudgingly arrives for another day's wage, or other locations as he speaks about it with others.
If things are casual in the first few chapters then this would be good. Kind of like slice of life stuff. But if things are faster paced, then maybe small infodumps might work for you.
I feel like discovery is most natural though.
 

Hans.Trondheim

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So I was trying to write a romance novel. I don't have any problems with the characters and the flow of the story, the problem is how to introduce the settings in this genres. Should I make the place, like the location of the school, MC's address, as vague as possible? I could use your tips from the people who has experience in writing romance novel : )
You can always make it vague, just for the setting. Unless your story's place would have a major role in your narrative, mentioning it in passing, writing generic descriptions, and not going too much into details is enough.

This not only applies to romance genre, but others as well.

Best examples of where you have to describe the place in detail are those stories with amnesiac MC and tons of ladies/gents vying for their affection. Setting goes like, they made a promise in some lake area or a special spot under some legendary tree or something. As that place meant something for your characters, then by all means, describe it well.

Otherwise, saying that they work in an office, or go to some school is enough.
 

DeviousColony69

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Haven't written romance novels, but I guess a good way to introduce a world or environment would be through discovery.
Like, the MC obviously knows the world around him, but the reader discovers it through a day in the life kind of thing.
You introduce the home as he gets ready in the morning, the school as he walks there and goes throughout his day, his work after school when he begrudgingly arrives for another day's wage, or other locations as he speaks about it with others.
If things are casual in the first few chapters then this would be good. Kind of like slice of life stuff. But if things are faster paced, then maybe small infodumps might work for you.
I feel like discovery is most natural though.
So basically means I should introduce the places specifically like:
"I work in a part-time job in a fastfood restaurant just beside in (put the name of the station) Station"
Choose your setting carefully.
What about in the romance genre world? Should I do a little bit of a world building?
 

LilRora

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It all depends on the length and focus of the story. If you want to write something short and fluffy, worldbuilding is not necessary and quickly intoducing each place the mc is visiting will be enough. I mean that, for example, if you have a scene in mc's home, you don't need to say where it is or what's in other parts of it before it's actually relevant to the story, or not even that. In lighthearted stories you can easily get away with writing that one character visited the mc without any details where each live and who they are, because what matters are the events happening when they visit each other.

Though if you want something with wider plot, I think there are two options:

1. Describing each place the mc is in progressively and going to wider perscpective with time. If the first scene is in home, first say where the mc is without anything more, when he goes out you describe where he lives, then when he comes to school you can introduce the political situation and the country by portraying various people in the school (assuming that's relevant). Then some time later the mc can go downtown and then you describe how the city is and where said downtown is witout the need to say it all alongside the description of mc's home.

You don't need any specific details though, unless it's in some way relevant to the story. I once wrote somewhere on similar topic, and I'm going to repeat that: don't write details that are not important to the mc, or even worse details he wouldn't notice. You can include some general facts, like that this is the most popular pub in the city, but that's because the mc goes there and he actually has it in the back of his mind each time he sees it. But there's no point in ranting about the state of the whole city with a number of specific details about it that only a specialist would know, because nobody cares.

Referencing what I wrote above, you shouldn't introduce things the mc doesn't even think about. It's just weird when you've the mc freshening himself up in the bathroom, you write how he goes down for breakfast and afterwards he goes out, and suddenly you give the readers a detailed description of where he lives. Saying he has a five minute walk to school and he lives in the better district of the city will be enough until something comes up that warrants a more detailed description.

2. The second option, keeping in mind what I wrote above, is to put it into dialogues. For example, some random character can say there's a new transfer student, and then you can smoothly shift the talk to 'remind' some character where the mc lives, what he likes, who he likes, all in relation to the transfer student.

Also, it doesn't need to be detailed, because readers can guess a lot things by themselves without you writing a paragraph about them. It breaks the immersion when the mc is in the middle of going to school and he starts describing everything around him like a tour guide. Get him a friend instead, who will point out some most important things in a small talk, bring up some rumors, ask about future plans, all which will give subtle hints about the world.

*takes a deep breath* Damn, that got kinda long. I can't call myslef an experienced writer, so take it all with a grain of salt, but I sure hope it helps.

PS: Also, to put things short, keep the details at the level on which they matter to the story. Some people might appreciate detailed worldbuilding, but if the whole story takes place in one city, then, in fact, you don't even need the name of the country. If you have some unimportant character whose only role is to help the mc find their way list in the city, you don't even need to say what's their gender. Likewise, don't write five paragraphs about a classmate. One will be enough, and the rest will come out in the interaction between them - if they develop into love interests, then you can write a rant in form of mc's thoughts somewhere later on.
 
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Maze_Runner

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So I was trying to write a romance novel. I don't have any problems with the characters and the flow of the story, the problem is how to introduce the settings in this genres. Should I make the place, like the location of the school, MC's address, as vague as possible? I could use your tips from the people who has experience in writing romance novel : )
You should introduce it in a romantic way. Like here's an example,
'We pushed away the wall of vines and a beautiful smell of roses followed. We both walked in and the place was beautiful. The sun was shining, butterflies were flying in the air and I stared at the woman next to me. She matched the beauty that this place held. I leaned forward and our lips touched.'
Yeah like that. Make the area into it romantic. But I can try to give another example I just got to know like what's happening. Is there a fight, are they outside or inside, etc
But if its like a house or a school then you should say they can feel like a romantic feel in the air. Or something about the place looked beautiful or felt beautiful, stuff like that.
 

Mephi

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In my experience, not as a romance writer, but in general writting, the setting should be treated as extensions of the characters themselves. Nitty gritty details, like a specific address, aren't really necessary. Now, where some place, like the school, is in relationship to where the characters live may be important.

Its like ... an inverted Chekhov's Gun. Chekhov's Guns is the literary technique where, the more something is described, the more relevant that something is to the story. Conservation of details - extra details just get in the way of actual story. And may very well detract from the overall story.

If you spend time describing things, like addresses, then it creates the impression that its relevant to the story. If its not relevant, then.. just not worth detailing.

You do need a number of details so the flow of the story feels natural, and you get an impression of the setting and surroundings, but beyond that, its actually more of a problem than a bonus.
 

K5Rakitan

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Add as much or as little detail about the setting as you want. I find that carefully looking at street view in Google maps helps me to describe a place better, even if it's a place I've been before.
 

TheEldritchGod

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Details? What are these "details" you speak of?
Hell, I forget to describe the CHARACTERS and you want to describe the SETTING?
YOU COMPLETE MADLAD!
 
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