Today I’m doing and informal discussion on settings. I highly recommend you watch my YouTube video of this. I think it’s a more enjoyable experience, but you can read a cleaned-up version of the closed captions here if you’d prefer.
I know I did worldbuilding before, but setting is a little bit different. I’m going to talk more about specific locations instead of the overall worldbuilding.
I definitely prefer fantasy settings. I think they’re really creative and more fun to read about, but for contemporaries I do have a preference as well. I really prefer small town settings, and I like those a lot better than big city settings, and I think this just has to do with the fact that I have lived in small towns my entire life. I have never lived in a big city. It’s gonna be really weird when I go off to grad school, and I live in a city. It’s not a huge city, thankfully, but it’s way bigger than anywhere I’ve ever lived before, so that’ll be interesting, but for contemporaries I definitely prefer that more familiar small town setting.
With fantasies, there are so many different settings, and a lot of them are very Tolkien-esque. I’m going to share some of my favorites. I really like the specific settings within Harry Potter. I really, really like Hogwarts. Who doesn’t like a magical boarding school in a castle with secret passageways and stuff like that? That’s cool. Diagon Alley is also pretty interesting.
With Lord of the Rings I really like all of Middle Earth, but if I had to pick a place to live, I would probably pick Lothlorien. I also really like Rivendell. Those are probably my two favorites, but I really like all the settings there.
Another one is Beyonders by Brandon Mull. I really like the overall setting of Lyrian, but my favorite is a specific location. I can’t remember what it’s called, but it’s very similar to Yellowstone, and it has all these, geothermal things going on there, and it’s really interesting. I’ve never seen that in a fantasy before.
Another book by Brandon Mull is Fablehaven, and I really like the different settings there. We have all these different magical preserves that each are very different in terms of the vibes you get off of them and their settings, and I definitely have two favorites even though I like all of them. One of them is Living Mirage, which is in Turkey, and so that one’s very Middle Eastern. Even the creatures at the preserve come from Middle Eastern mythology like The Arabian Nights, so that one’s really cool. My favorite is definitely Lost Mesa, which is in Arizona in the desert. I think I love it so much because it’s very similar to where I live especially where I will be moving to for grad school. It also has a little bit of a relationship with the culture I study for archaeology, so that’s really cool. That one just feels so close to home, and I could definitely see myself living there. They have jackalopes. Like, come on. It’s really cool. I love Lost Mesa.
Another one that I really like is from The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, and the specific setting is Joya d’Arena. That one is really interesting, and it’s a desert country. Do you see a theme? I really love deserts. I could definitely see myself being there and living there because I really like deserts for some reason, so that’s another cool setting.
With fantasy settings, I really like to see creativity within them instead of just going off of the normal Tolkien-type, Middle Earth-type setting, and then I also really like historical settings. I haven’t read a whole lot of books that take place in the past, but I do find historical settings really interesting, and it probably has a lot to do with the fact that I study archaeology. I’m interested in the past. I think that’s really cool.
Those are the settings I really like. I don’t hate any settings. Anything I didn’t mention is a setting that’s just mediocre. I really like settings that are well described and vivid, so if the setting isn’t vivid or well described, then it’s just kind of meh to me. I also may have forgotten some settings here and there that I love because it’s been so long since I’ve read about them, but these are the ones that came to mind. Let me know in the comments down below what your favorite setting is and if you hate any settings. I’m interested to hear your thoughts.