Location, Location, Location 

Attention all writers – Location, Location, Location.

Thatched farmhouse New Forest

Thatched Farmhouse represents my hero’s childhood home, burnt to the ground as the story begins – Lighter Than Air

So you are writing a novel, or perhaps a short story. That’s great and I’m sure you have a well-thought out storyline and some convincing characters. But where is it set? In one place or do your characters inhabit various places: cities, countries, or travel by train, ship or in the air? how much thought have you attached to location or locations?



A Tornado flying over the Arabian Desert where Johnno’s hallucinations begin.

Lighter Than Air



If you read best-selling novels you will find authors using stunning locations, exotic or historical, near to home or far away. They use settings almost as additional characters that become part of their story, woven into the narrative and the heart of their plot. A good setting can enhance romance or create a sense of evil. It can be forbidding, challenging or just delightful. The world is your oyster, so choose well and make it part of your story.

Norwich River Walk

Idyllic river walk at Norwich. Setting for Johnno and Lisa’s first kiss. Lighter Than Air



In my first novel, Lighter Than Air, I tried to set every scene in a different, interesting location appropriate to the storyline. I wanted readers to absorb the atmosphere surrounding the characters as the plot unfolded.



I write in time-shift historical, so creating two stories, with different locations was challenging for me. Weaving the two plots together and balancing the various locations, was part of that challenge. Good settings don’t have to be over-descriptive or mask the action, but they should add that extra ingredient to the whole reading experience.  

rhine river cruise

Boat cruise on the Rhine River Germany overlooked by historic German Castles.  Part of Johnno’s and Lisa’s story in Lighter Than Air.

We can’t all go globe-trotting when writing our novels and stories, but good photographs can help an author to visually explore a setting they would like to use, or inspire them to use somewhere different that fits perfectly into their storyline. Give yourself permission not just to write about what you know – but to write about what you dream.


Hindenburg explodes over lakehurst

The Hindenburg’s final fated voyage to America. An intricate part of Johnno’s past-life story. Lighter Than Air. 

Every event or conversation in your story will convey so much more to your reader if they can visualise where it happens. As the author, you can bring out the realism in your story. Two people may argue, but if it happens on a clifftop, readers will be on tender-hooks to know who might push who over the edge!  If they argue on a busy train journey, who might remember hearing their angry words when a body is found on the line the following day? Strong locations give you scope to open up your storyline to endless possibilities and add richness to every page.





The old Airship sheds at Carrington, Bedfordshire. Scene of Johnno’s final showdown with his antagonist.



In my next post I will tell you about some of the locations I have used for my new novel

Spirit of the Jaguar, due out later in the Spring.

Good luck with your writing and let me know the locations you enjoy in the books you read or the stories you write.

Please comment back to me if you enjoyed this post.

If you haven’t read Lighter Than Air, it is currently available on Kindle at only £2.99. Paperback and Audio book versions also available.

http://amzn.to/2gBFROL   –   Your link to buy Lighter Than Air from Amazon books.



About Susan Pope

Writer, poet and author. Leader of Women's Writing Group
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2 Responses to Location, Location, Location 

  1. Ann says:

    THank you for an interesting post. I agree with you entirely. The location is key to setting the scene and allows the author a certain degree of fantasy.


  2. Susan Pope says:

    I’m glad you agree Ann. An author is like an artist and has to show the whole picture clearly not just the interaction between the characters.


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