Charles A Cornell
Charles A. Cornell


Setting is more than just an info-dump. It’s an essential element of crafting your story to create an emotional response in the reader’s mind. Setting provides context, mood & social texture; enables character development; enhances the power of action, suspense & conflict; and provides challenges to your hero on their journey. In total, setting is an important part of building compelling worlds of wonder whether you write historical dramas, mysteries, thrillers or speculative fiction.

In this session, we will discuss:

  • The basics of using setting to generate emotion & enhance narrative
  • Leveraging setting to develop character & create conflict
  • Beyond the metaphor: literary devices to drive drama in setting
  • The art and science of world building

Charles A Cornell was born in England, raised in Canada and now lives in Florida.  When Charles isn’t trying to survive the chaos of everyday life, he’s dreaming up all kinds of crazy fiction. He specializes in science fiction, science fantasy, dieselpunk & steampunk.

His FBI serial killer novel, Tiger Paw, won the 2012 Royal Palm Literary Award for Best Thriller. His dieselpunk work, DragonFly was a 2014 RPLA Finalist in Science Fiction. DragonFly is a retro-futuristic collision of science fiction and fantasy with a generous dash of alternative history.

Charles’s short stories and novellas have appeared in the anthologies, The Prometheus Saga, Return To Earth and In Shadows Written. His Prometheus Saga science fiction story, Crystal Night won the RPLA for Best Novella in 2016.

His latest publication is A Survivor’s Guide To Working At A Big Corporation, an irreverent look at corporate culture, available for pre-order now.

You can follow Charles’ musings on science fiction, retrofuturism and dieselpunk at his blog, Enter the world of DragonFly at Get survival tips for working in the corporate world at

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