Settings I’d Like to See More Of
I really love this week’s topic; even though my mind is more inclined to think in terms of visual mediums when I think of settings I would like to see more of. By that, I mean that it is movies and television that have mostly inspired my choices! I guess I generally am more visually oriented and that tends to bleed over into my reading too.
There is something to be said about the imagination being that much more powerful and I think these particular settings would definitely be something I would be interested in reading more about. I warn you though, most of my choices are of the spooky variety (even though I don’t read much in the way of horror these days – weird). 🤔
1. Abandoned Asylums
I have a particular fascination with asylums and the idea of doing urban exploring within an abandoned asylum holds a lot of appeal for me. They are such sad places, with such horrible histories. Having a mental illness myself, it’s scary to think I could have been placed in an asylum if I had been unlucky enough to be born even 20 years earlier.
Session 9 was a particularly scary movie I saw a number of years back and was filmed in the Danvers State Mental Hospital (which has mostly been demolished since – though parts of it now make up luxury apartments – don’t think I would want to live there!) 😨 I also watched a documentary called Cropsey a few years back which was riveting (worth a watch but pretty heavy stuff).
They fueled my interest in asylums and I cannot help but think it would make a rather excellent setting for a novel (haunted and abandoned – I don’t have really have the stomach to read about the abuses that went down in these places except second-hand tellings).
2. Haunted Hotels
Think The Shining (which I know was a book first but the movie is so darn unsettling even all these years later!) The book setting was inspired by The Stanley Hotel although the movie wasn’t filmed at that particular hotel (the exteriors were actually shot at the Timberline Lodge in Northern Oregon).
Still, the visuals were so iconic that I have always loved the idea of haunted hotels (the Cecil Hotel is another recent example). I definitely think more novels should utilise this type of setting. It would be immense!
3. Amusement / Theme Parks
I find amusement and theme parks rather unsettling even during the day but at night they are almost deliciously creepy! I recently watched the Chernobyl mini-series and I was reminded how haunting the visual is of the empty/overgrown Pripyat amusement park. Come to think of it – Pripyat would also be an interesting setting… anyway, I’m going off on a tangent here!
I think this setting would lend itself well to a young adult novel. Teens breaking into an abandoned amusement park sounds pretty intense and could really work well.
C’mon, this one had to be on here! I practically lived in the library when I was a kid so I have a lot of fond memories. Not that they can’t be spooky too – I remember feeling unsettled a lot of the time in my university library – it was in the basement with massively high stacks and always had a really astringent smell which wasn’t like normal libraries at all.
Of course, there is also the really spooky sequence in the IT film with one of the kids (Ben) get lured down to basement room in the Derry library – nightmare fuel or what? 😀
5. University / College
Speaking of university, I feel there is a distinct lack of books about uni / college that aren’t in the new adult romance genre. Not that there’s anything wrong with the genre but I would love to have more young adult books aimed about college-aged protagonists where romance isn’t the primary objective.
Maybe a nice urban fantasy? Or one with a crime/thriller vibe… think Veronica Mars the college years (actually maybe not since that era wasn’t the best Veronica haha!)
I can blame Carnivale for this one – I really miss that show… 😢 I know that this is fairly (okay, very!) similar to amusement parks but the travelling aspect is different at least. I like the idea of a setting that has a transitory feel but within the similar confines and surroundings of the carnival.
It could be really exciting and it’s definitely a setting I would love to see explored more in fiction.
7. Space Stations
I’m a huge Deep Space Nine fan so this one was an obvious choice but I tend to think towards the abandoned Cardassian Space Station that was identical in design to DS9 – Empok Nor. The episode where Chief O’Brien and some of his engineers visited the booby-trapped abandoned station looking for spare parts with Garak was a chilling episode (Garak could be one scary dude even though I loved him!)
Just picture this: a derelict space station, a plucky group of travelers getting stuck there but something else is trapped there with them and there is no escape… Someone should write that!
8. Boarding Schools
I couldn’t enough enough of boarding school stories when I was younger and although there are quite a few still kicking around, I still feel that the setting is ripe for a new wave of stories!
I especially love the idea of haunted boarding schools! I really enjoy the Dark is the Night series by Kelley York and Rowan Altwood and although the setting moved away from boarding school after the first book, I found that locale to be particularly effective.
9. Cabin in the Woods
Yep, that is deliberately a play on the film Cabin in the Woods! Seriously though, there is a reason why the setting is popular. The Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp… I can think of loads of horror movies set in a cabin or camp deep in the woods.
All that nature sets an idyllic scene – that will soon be disturbed (of course!) due to the vicious killer that is preying on the hapless campers! Can’t hate on a classic, right? 😉
This one might be inspired a little bit by Night at the Museum haha! A museum setting, after-hours, a young couple exploring and getting to know each other visiting each and every one of the exhibits… I think it could work.
You can totally tell I love visiting museums! That has definitely informed my choice – and I would love the chance to explore one of them at night with my other half! I would find it quite romantic actually… 😉
all images sourced from Pixabay