The beauty of storytelling is that a story can take place just about anywhere. If you’re struggling to think of an interesting setting for your story, maybe some of these ideas will get your creative juices flowing. In no particular order….
- Outer Space. Stuff falls up here, people! Or sideways, or diagonally, or what have you. How cool is that? Plus, aliens!
- Jungles. Jungles appeal to everyone with an explorer’s spirit. They’re colorful, exotic, inhabited by all manner of lurking creatures, and more than willing to kill off any intrepid adventurer who doesn’t know exactly what they’re doing.
- The Circus. Circuses have always been a place of adventure and excitement. The strange and wonderful has come to town and with it, all the mystery and allure of the faraway and the unknown. Anything can hide in a circus, if it only knows how to blend.
- A Volcano. Lava. Shifting rocks. Earthquakes. Immanent danger. And what kind of a creature does it take to survive, even thrive, in molten lava anyways? Alternatively, the volcano has long lain cold, its fire receded, and its passages await exploration…
- Deserts. Even if you have water, survival is by no means guaranteed. But the desert isn’t merely a wasteland. It has its own rugged beauty, its own people, its own legends.
- Swamps. Locals don’t know which is worse: the skink, the humidity, or the terror that lurks just beyond the gently waving arms of the weeping willow. Don’t follow the lights, or they may lead you to a place where the ground will swallow you whole. And with it being so dangerous to explore, who knows what’s living out there, beyond the mists.
- Trains. Again with the wanderlust. There’s something about a train that haunts the imagination in the way that cars and planes just don’t. You can just sit there, or stand and walk about, and it carries you away to somewhere new. Strangers’ lives intersect. Foreign lands are traversed. The world rushes past the window. It’s enough to drive a person to thinking…
- The Upside-down Mountains/Ocean/Forest/Whatever. I have no clue what that is, or how that works, but doesn’t it sound cool?
- Under the Sea. Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter, take it from me. Underwater caverns, colorful fish, gargantuan predators, lost shipwrecks, ancient monsters, and volumes upon volumes of near-forgotten legends and lore. Atlantis. Titanic. The Flying Dutchman. Merfolk. The Bermuda Triangle. The haunting call of the depths. If only there were a way to breathe underwater as the fish…
- A Labyrinth. It can be made of anything: ancient stone, mirrors, a sentient, living forest. It’s easy enough to find your way in, but getting out is another matter. Even if you survive the traps, lurking monsters, and the madness of endless wandering, it’s entirely possible that whoever constructed this monstrosity isn’t playing fair. No one would be mad enough to enter freely, except perhaps, to find a legendary treasure worth dying for.
Hopefully these ideas will seed some inspiration for you. Check back for more ideas, or suggest your own in the comments below.
— Rachel Beck