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A Sense of Place

Some wonderful tips on writing settings by M.A. Ray

Saga of Menyoral

A SENSE OF PLACE

Setting puts flesh on your stories. The way it’s described can work for you or against you, and it can be the difference between bringing the reader into the story and leaving him or her out in the cold.

Here are a few things I’ve learned about building delicious descriptions of setting. I hope you all find them helpful.

  1. Use vivid words. I’ll use southwestern Oklahoma as an example, since I live here. I could say, “It’s flat with occasional hills, and very windy and dry.” But so what? Does that convey the feeling of being there? Not at all, and it’s a little boring, too. What if I said this? “The stinging wind whips hair and dust around my face.”
  2. Choose telling details. What am I going to see here that I wouldn’t see anywhere else? Near where I live, it’s a bizarre mix of…

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Author:

Sarah lives in Oregon on a beautiful half-acre with her husband and children. She has a BA in English Language and Literature and has been writing off and on since she was young, but she did not begin to write seriously until recently. She loves being out in nature, eating real food, and making her own beauty products. She is the author of the short story "Forbidden Child" in the Shades of Fear Anthology. www.smlowry.com

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