I'm happy to encore Rebekah M. as a guest writer for today's blog. And thankfully, she has supplied pictures too! Thank you, Rebekah!
In a story, any story, you must have your characters, but you also must have a setting. Have you ever watched a movie where there were characters but no background at all? The people just moved around and sat on nothing (since there wasn’t any chair pictured) and drove away in air? I never have. I think it would get dull really quickly. Maybe you don’t notice the background, but if it wasn’t there, boy would you notice!
But, what is a setting? Well, let me ask a few questions:
- Where did the story take place?
- What was the place like?
- Are there lots of houses or is it out in the country?
- Is the house old and small or fancy and huge?
- Is it morning, midday or night?
- Is it historical, present-day, or set in the future?
Don't panic yet! I am not going to make you write a description of where your characters live and things like that. We are just going to practice our “descriptional” abilities. Use strong words to paint a picture in the reader's mind with your words. Think about what you see, what you "feel," and what you "hear." Do you smell anything? Is the scene relaxing and enjoyable, or is there something tense and strange going on?
Five pictures are sprinkled throughout this post. I didn't take the photos; they are from a calendar. Some calendar pictures can spark really interesting stories. For example, my western story, “The Unexpected Request,” began with just a thousand words written about one picture!
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to write a paragraph describing one of the pictures her on the blog post. You can make the paragraph as long or as short as you want, so long as it is at least five sentences long. Your goal is to paint a word picture so vivid that the rest of us can "see" your scene without looking at the pictures. The pictures are numbered, so we can all "guess" just by reading which scene you are describing. Sound fun?
Note from Mrs. M: You may also insert your character into the scene if that helps "connect" the scene to the storyline.
Below is a word picture I wrote as an example. Your descriptions don't have to match mine, nor do they need to be as detailed. I just happen to really like describing things and trying out new ways to tell about something.
Red. It was all around. Wispy clouds blanketing the sky were glowing with it; the fields stretching out behind the ranch were aflame; even the distant hills appeared hazy with a hint of crimson. Only the southwestern horizon relieved the feeling that the world was on fire. There, the strip of brilliant, white sky, which almost hurt one's eyes to look at, hung suspended beneath the yellow-tinged, burning clouds. Black fence posts stood in the foreground like sentinels silently silhouetted against the scarlet pasture. Swaying the grasses, the evening breeze felt warm, bringing no relief from the oppressive summer heat.
You can read my (Mrs. M's) scene in the first comment! (Can you guess which picture I described?)