Excellent points and a good piece on the mechanics of setting versus the value of the story.
First, let’s be clear on one thing. The difference between good and bad writing is simple: Good writing is not entirely dependent upon the setting. But bad writing sometimes is.
Wait. Isn’t this whole article about setting?
Yes. But good writing rises above time and place. Why? Because ultimately, good writing is about being and becoming. Being happens anywhere that life happens. Becoming happens no matter what the fashion of the day is, no matter what car your character is driving, and no matter what color your dragon or your jetpack is.
If good writing wasn’t transcendental in this way, then only rural Depression-era Southern Americans would be able to appreciate To Kill a Mockingbird and only hobbits would be able to understand The Lord of the Rings.
This is why good writing isn’t really about any particular time or place. Writing that is only about a time…
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