Week 1, Setting a scene (or how to describe a world without boring the reader).

From what I’ve read in various works,non fiction or fiction, the lessons I’ve been taught about describing the world  is that it should usually be there but unobtrusive, unless of course the scene calls for it to be interacted with.  Then, like characters, you flesh in what is appropriate.  the more the scenery interacts, the more detailed it should become.

To this end, I want to try and write 3 items,

1. The first one is were the scenery should be mentioned, but will largely just be setting pieces and not really meaningful.

2. The second the scenery should be like a backdrop.  not necessarily interacted with, but the location itself will have a noticeable effect on the how the events feel.  (Arabian nights pieces are a good example of this.)  It’s not a character itself, but has more pull than just saying “they were in the Desert.”

3. This will be the longest one, as it should be, since in this one the setting should be a character unto itself.  This is were the background is so pervasive it will effect every action of the protagonist (fist fight vs fist fight on a zero g space station).

All 3 of these are just explorations of successfully setting a scene, and should be self contained.  however it’s not a story so it should feel like a glimpse into a window if i do it right.  we shall see.

 

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4 comments

  1. Story 1.
    Walking through the field at night almost proved too much for Gwen to bear. The cloudy sky hid even the scant light of the waning moon. The flickering dark outside her lantern seemed an almost hungry thing, ready to snatch her unawares to some forsaken hole in the world. When focusing on the dark she would forget knee high grass that would tug the hem of her shift, and give her that brief moment of panic believing that something was trying to drag her down. The dead calm quiet of the night was even creepier for someone used to the nightly chorus of people, cars, and trains that had filled the night of her previous life.

    1. This has good bones, it could flow a little better though . I made some changes see if they work for you. Walking through the field at night proved almost too much for Gwen to bear. The cloudy sky hid even the scantest light of the waning moon. The flickering dark outside her lantern seemed an almost hungry thing, ready to snatch her to some forsaken hole at any moment. When focusing on the dark she would forget the knee high grass that tugged at the hem of her shirt , giving her a brief moment of panic believing that something was trying to drag her down. The dead quietness of the night was even more unsettling for someone used to the nightly chorus of people, cars, and trains that had filled the night of her previous life.

  2. Story 2.
    Frank stared at the study, he drank in the details. He made notes of things. All throughout the room were piles of books, most leaning dangerously close to collapse. Maps were draped over the back of the old leather love seat, and a pile of scrolls now sat in the center of Mr. Rogers’s desk. Over the fire place hung a portrait of the deceased’s grandfather. Near the desk an old drinks globe sat open, it’s supply of brandy gone, drunk long ago. The smell of dust, parchment, and old leather hung heavy in the air.
    Frank stepped in the room and began noting the more subtle details. The books although haphazardly piled were in groups, based on location in the world. The maps that were most visible dealt with South America. The scrolls seemed to be Rubbings, like the ones often made in archeology sites when carvings were in things too large to move. The carpet showed wear in a near perfect circle around the desk. Frank could almost see Mr. Rogers walking around his desk, shoulders hunched, and brow tight with worry as he worked through problem after problem.

  3. Also good. Some minor changes. See what you think. Frank stared through narrow door way in to the abandoned study, he drank in the details, making mental notes of everything . All throughout the room piles of books, leaned dangerously. Maps draped the back of an old leather love seat, and a pile of scrolls sat in the center of Mr. Rogers’s desk. Over the fire place hung a portrait of his deceased’s grandfather. Near the desk an old drink globe sat open, it’s supply of brandy long gone,. The smell of dust, parchment, and aging leather hung heavy in the air.Frank stepped in to the room and began noting more subtle details. The books although haphazardly piled were in groups, based on world location. The maps that were most visible dealt with South America. The scrolls were Rubbings, like ones often made at archeology sites when carvings are too large to be moved. The carpet showed wear in a near perfect circle around the desk. Frank could almost see Mr. Rogers walking around his desk, shoulders hunched, and brow tight with worry as he worked tirelessly through problem after problem.

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