That is the question. In an attempt to get two cents from every wayward soul that might venture this way and also to stimulate my comments section I wish to pose that very question.
Do you sometimes find that if you’re told when and where a scene takes place it’s too much context? More to the point, if, before a scene you are told “Hey, you, this is London and its 1640, do you feel bludgeoned? Would you much rather have clues peppered throughout the text about the setting? Inversely, if you’re reading and there are no concrete mentions of setting changes when it does change do you feel lost?
I’m currently scripting something – scary, yes, I know – and I’m struggling heavily with this. I feel, in my infernal bowels that impact of the setting is lost when the reader is specifically told it has changed. The other part of me realizes how many setting changes (both in location and time) I’m throwing at the reader in rapid succession, and confusion is likely, should a reader not pay much attention. Then, of course, there’s the part of me that couldn’t care less. I want to confuse them. I want them to get lost, to get angry, and then, hopefully, be unable to turn away.