The straight, expected path represents your story without any twists, nothing unexpected. The right ending, however, takes the reader off that path to a better, more meaningful ending. It doesn’t have to be a happy ending, but it does have to require the reader to pay attention every step of the way. Continue reading →
Time to finish off this month’s writing exercises.
I’m sharing an excerpt from Painted Blue Eyes as an example of a setting might look “in action” – that is, how setting description can blend into the narrative. I encourage you to share your own work, and to look at what sensory info you’ve included as you worked the setting into your story.
At the start of Painted Blue Eyes, my goal was to describe a setting that many people should know fairly well – the dusty attic of an old relative’s house. I used the familiar idea of stumbling into an old attic, along with sights and the memories it triggered in the main character. Blending sensory info with the feelings triggered can be a great way to put the reader in the setting, even without long descriptions of all the senses.
What are your favorite passages that describe settings? I’d love to hear what stories you’ve read with excellent stage-setting and scene description.
Let’s see a setting from a story you have written or are working on now. You could share an actual excerpt where you describe a setting in narrative, or you can compose a separate piece laying out a setting that you plan to use.
My best answer for this comes from a story I published called Painted Blue Eyes. The excerpt starts like this:
In the cramped space between ceiling and roof, I stepped around furniture older than any living relative. Rocking chairs and antique tables were hidden under filthy rags or tangled in cobwebs. I came to an ancient brown sofa, its seats bandaged many times over with duct tape.
I encourage you to share from your work, and I’ll post more on Thursday!