Using Details, Music, and Foreshadowing to Reveal Setting and Plot

Many authors are aware of what type of technology is available to their characters within the time period that a novel is set. However, a common mistake writers make is forgetting to ground their books in that time period with politics, fashion trends, and music. John Wilkerson, sci-fi author, journalist, and ghostwriter, has a definite idea of where his sci-fi novels are set. “It’s obvious I grew up in the 80s,” says Wilkerson. Wilkerson is fascinated with the time period and the important conversations that were happening at that moment.  Plus, he loved the cultural experience of the 80s and was able to incorporate some of those details to foreshadow the plot. For example, the music his character listens to is not simply atmospheric. It sets the stage for the next couple of chapters. Listen to the clip below for tips on how to integrate details in a story that hint at the setting and plot!

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