July 5, 2010
The Power of Place
How do you use setting in your writing? For me, settings function not as simple backdrops, but as characters in their own right. Places have moods, energy drawn from and shared with those who happen past or linger.
I've noticed the sense of place falling out of my latest draft as I struggle with the plot and protagonist. Characters spout off dialogue like actors on an unlit, empty stage. Their voices and actions ring hollow. I've been noting sections of my draft where I need to provide a deeper description of the setting and have begun fleshing out the scenes with those details.
With that in mind, today's writing prompt focuses on setting. Use the photo above as a stepping off point for creating a scene. You might describe the view or place a scene out on the street. Who is looking out the window? Why? What does the character see, hear, smell, feel? Are there others in the room or is the viewer alone? As you're writing, remain aware of the setting and include sensory details drawn from the scene's environment.
As always, I'd love to read what you come up with, and you're welcome to post your creation in the comments.