Daily Archives: July 12, 2012

Reading Circles – Description & Setting {Part 4}

We are quickly getting to the end of our book here, and I hope the exercises and ideas for developing our descriptions has provided you with new tools and insights thus far.

Last week, we read about time and place, and also we had an interesting chapter on using description and setting to drive the story – isn’t that an intriguing thought? Normally we consider these elements to be background…but what if they are the very things that move your story or main point forward? Can you think of new ways to do that?

And we had a little exercise to incorporate onomatopoeia and synesthesia in our descriptions to help make them more lively, precise, and novel. Here’s my little attempt:

The door opens with a twinkle and a rush of cool, inviting air. Patrons mill about with books in hand and an eye on the baked goods. Couples lounge in marshmallow sofas and talk with bright gestures in secluded corners. The buzz of the burr grinder crashes through the air, against the thunk-thunk grind of the espresso machine, followed by the kssh! of hot foam. The rough rumble of voices intermingling with the mechanical clatter should be loud in your ears, but instead fades to a soft sweater comfort because you are not here; you are miles away in the back-alley Narnia of your book.

And how might I use that to advance my story? Perhaps I could use the ironic intermingling of the human and soft with the sharp and mechanical to illustrate a similar theme in my writing. Or perhaps, by the very act of being in a bookstore cafe, my character gets involved in something unexpected – like the book physically sucking her into another world thanks to a bewitching barista! Or something like that….

Did you give it a try? Link it up below!

*     *     *

This week, we’ll be finishing up the book with Chapters 10-12: Working the Magic, Too Little, Too Much, and Description and Setting in the Writing Process. And again, we’ll learn more about how to cull out the devil in the details – for example, how seemingly insignificant details about a person signify something larger about who they are.

For the final exercise, let’s push this idea even further. For next week, link up something in which you:

– reveal something about a person’s character (real or imagined) through setting

And with that, we’ll finish up this book and starting moving toward Plot & Structure!

Have a great weekend and let’s see you stretch your descriptive muscles here!

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Bigger Picture Moments {Featuring Michelle}

Every Thursday, we come together to share the harvest of intentional living by capturing a glimpse of the Bigger Picture through a simple moment. Won’t you join us today? Reflect upon something simple — or simply magical — that’s resonated with you this week, then share it with us!

Here’s a glimpse from one of last week’s Bigger Picture Moments, from Michelle Pendergrass.  Be sure to click through to read the rest!

i didn’t even stop at the chalet, I went straight for the shore
knowing the beauty of the chaos of the storm would move quickly
and i had to capture it
(i never stopped to think it would be symbolic) (until now)

And please stop by Melissa’s place for today’s Bigger Picture link-up — we love sharing in your moments!