Mapping the Action

“Remember in your story that setting is the other character. It is as important to your story as the people in it because it gives them context and can ideally be used to heighten drama and tension, depending on where it is.” — Rob Parnell

And Then There Were None , Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None , Agatha Christie

The best, most effective, time and editor-saving way to make your setting real is to find or draw a map. This holds whether the whole thing takes place in a single room, on an airplane, in Vancouver, in the bowels of the London Tube station, or on an imagined planet in an alternate universe.

There is no better way to keep the action straight. You don’t need to know how to draw—as long as you can scratch and scribble, keep it by you. Draw upon it. Make notes for revision.

And then maybe someday an artist will ink it all in, to make fantastic endpapers for your novels.

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