Setting in creative writing
September 18, 2020
What is the climate like?Write a description of the room you are in from the point-of-view of a character in your work-in-progress. Whether or not you agree, you will want to spend some time considering your story's setting before you begin to write. If the image of that tropical beach made you feel relaxed and happy, create a scene in which, instead, it is causing your character to feel angry or anxious. "I recommend starting this exercise with a travel magazine packed with lots of interesting photos. It draws your reader right in, as if they were in the room with your characters.Choose one of the following places and describe it using ALL of your five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing).
How would they feel about what they see?
Whatever captures her emotions about the space.Think of some information your readers will need to learn to understand the story. Take the point-of-view-character's world view and personal judgment into consideration. This could be technical information or character backstory. What kind of people would you see there?
1. Setting doesn’t just concern nice descriptive passages about houses, woodlands, mountains, roads and so on. for your next bookWhen describing your setting, consider who's looking at it as well as what they see. Look for new, interesting, evocative ways to explain the world around you. Flex your descriptive muscles by spending some time writing about your surroundings. For example, an ex-con is likely to view (and describe) a restaurant hosting a police officer's retirement party differently than the daughter of the retiring officer. This allows you to craft richer settings that reflect both the character, and the world they live in.
Describe the setting through the character's eyes, paying particular attention to the mood that this image evokes in you. In fiction, you won't usually use all five, but limbering up your storytelling this way will help you show rather than tell the story:
As we will see from studying one famous master, a "persuasive" setting is necessary in order to build mood, character, and even plot. What would she find odd? What details would they specifically notice? If your castle seemed tranquil and romantic, set a scene in which the mood is menacing or sorrowful. The setting is the place and time in which the action of a narrative takes place. (If you have a map, you can close your eyes and pick a random spot for an extra challenge!)
Let her be snarky or wax poetical. For instance, instead of writing, "a breeze blew in through the open window, try, "papers fluttered in the gust that swept in through the window, throwing dust into the air like confetti. Try to include as many details as possible to make it seem like you've actually been there. What would she dislike? Now write an argument between two characters in which you use conflict to share this information.Try the Reedsy Book Editor: the free writing app used by thousands of authors every day.We've all read about the grey autumn day, the crisp spring morning, the dewey summer evening. We live in a sensory world, so using all five … Again, look for sensory details and impressions that will convince your reader and evoke that same mood through your words - regardless of what mood the picture alone might have evoked!A few well-chosen words can create a strong sense of place which adds a rich dimension to your story.
Many writers believe that setting is the most important element of any fictional work. Choose a place you've never been to. Go beyond describing the physical space and capture her attitude about what she sees. Writing a great short story is like conveying a dream. Evoke this mood in your readers through the reactions of the character - look for sensory images!Now, write a second scene, with the same or a different character - and evoke just the OPPOSITE mood. Over 500,000 authors trust the professionals on Reedsy, come meet them.Find the perfect editor Learn more about Reedsy It's important to use specific details (especially those that don't immediately spring to mind) when people think of a place. Now, write a short scene from the viewpoint of a character who has just arrived at this location and is seeing it for the first time. Describe the setting through the character's eyes, paying particular attention to the mood that this image evokes in you. For example, what does it smell like? What would she love about the room?
Use all five senses to described a well-rounded setting. What would the character notice first? What emotions or thoughts might those details trigger? If the character is from another time or place, so much the better. Setting doesn’t mean merely ‘scenery’.
Do some research and try to learn everything you can about that location and make it the setting for the next scene you write. Select an image that appeals to you.
It's also called the scene or creating a sense of place.
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