I fell asleep at the wheel, and I drove into a tree. Here is another way to write the same scene. I awoke to the violent crunch of metal on wood, the hiss of the radiator, and the sickly sweet smells of antifreeze and gasoline. Adding the sights, smells, and sounds allows the reader to imagine the moment.
And why should I care? Writers often focus on the second question, how to hook a reader. But orienting the reader is just as important. They need to know the setting: Readers revisit these same questions at the beginning of every chapter or major change in setting.
What would your character see, hear, smell, taste or feel? Using the senses is self-explanatory, except the feeling sense, where you want to emphasize temperature and texture, or how it feels for this character to move within the space.
I hesitated, my heart thumping, at the boundary between light and dark. From the overhead clumps of moss, cold drops plopped into my hair, a water clock ticking away the precious seconds. The musty smell, was it from bats? Or was there something more sinister in this cave?
Sensory details are the basis of active fiction that pulls the reader directly into a story. David Morrell, author of First Blood and more than 30 other thrillers, says he tries to anchor every scene with details from at least three different senses.
This grounds the fiction in our common experience as humans: Assign a color to each of the senses then use markers to highlight the sensory details you used in a section of your story.
Often, writers tend to use one sense more than the others. Everyone struggles with smell and taste. It partly depends on the setting of your story whether there are any appropriate smells or tastes. Certainly, a Christmas banquet would allow for a deeper exploration of these senses.
But even in our cave setting there were some smells and tastes. Think of the smell of cinnamon at Christmas.
Kinesthetic details are usually translated into strong verbs, for example: She swung her arms in a wide circle. Your characters are moving around, doing things, reacting to things and you should search for strong verbs to express this action. In the cave paragraph, what if I reworded the opening a bit?
My toe caught a rock and I stumbled, catching myself against the slimy wall. I was at the boundary of light and dark. A final tip in using this exercise is to be as specific as possible.
Poor use of modifiers: Choose specific, precise verbs. Water fell onto my head. Water plopped onto my head.Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description is course 3 of 5 in the Creative Writing Specialisation.
This Specialization covers elements of three major creative writing genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir. Setting is the place and time in which the action of a narrative takes place. It's also called the scene or creating a sense of place.
In a work of creative nonfiction, evoking a sense of place is an important persuasive technique: "A storyteller persuades by creating scenes, little dramas that occur in a definite time and place, in which real people interact in a way that furthers the aims of.
Mar 01, · The river alongside it ran tumbling in every direction as pure and as clean as a newborn baby's soul. The ground was moist and alive with peace producing a Status: Resolved.
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Daniel La Rosa. Search this site. Home; Stem Collaborative. Engineering Design and Development Descriptive - Going Down the River. Reflection I took this as a creative prompt and therefore made up a story of me going down a river with my friends, for the most part.
I did go down a river once with a couple of my friends but my whole. But a wild river is a strong setting ripe with opportunities for conflict, so we’ll make sure to incorporate some wild river description into the River entry.
Thanks so much for the suggestion! Reply.