Settings. They can create, enhance, deepen, enrich, colour, lead… your story. For some stories, such as historic fiction, the setting is almost a character onto itself.
For a writer, the power of observation is key. You may have a scene in your head. One in which your characters will go play. But how do you get that setting into words? How do you make it come alive? And are there bits of details in the setting that might become relevant to your story?(For example, is there a tattered paint peeled red kettle on the stove that evokes a memory in your character, etc.) Is there something rather boring or mundane in your scene? Can you describe it, look at it more and more, and start to observe the depth and detail to it?
I rely on the cardinal rule of Five Senses. Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch, Sound.
I might do some timed exercises like these:
1. Describe the room you are in right now. Use all of your five senses. Take 10 minutes. Go!
2. Where did you last go away for a holiday? Did you visit a building that you recall? Using the five senses, describe it. Take 10 minutes. Go!
3. Imagine an apartment building that you have never been to. Describe a condo in the building. Take 15 minutes. Go!
How do you work on your settings?
Other setting sources you might like:
- Susan Squires Guest Blog: Set the Stage, Part 1 by Shannon Donnelly
- A World Away – Geographical Settings in Fiction Posted by Isabel Costello
- Fiction Writing Lesson 1: Setting By Taylor Houston