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Setting: the "where' and the "when"

Stories need characters (people or animals, usually) and a plot (the things that happen--the action). These are basic elements, or parts, of a story.
We generally tell stories like this: "The black-and-white dog ran into the water." The character (black-and-white dog) did something (ran into the water).
But just as important is the where and the when. These elements help the reader situate the story.  Where is this dog, and where is the water (a pond, a river, the ocean)? Are these places real or invented by the author?Is the dog living in the present? Or is this a story set in some past time, like 1960? Maybe it's taking place in the future, like 2020.Setting is the literary element that makes it easier for the readers to picture the story in their minds. Even if the where is a real place they've never been (or an imaginary place), they can build a mental map or set of images to use as a background for the story, And if the when is not familiar, rea…

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