A Writer's Guide to Active Setting: How to Enhance Your Fiction with More Descriptive, Dynamic Settings

A Writer's Guide to Active Setting: How to Enhance Your Fiction with More Descriptive, Dynamic Settings

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1599639300

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Enhance Your Fiction with the Power of an Active Setting!

Setting is one of the most underutilized and misunderstood elements of the writing craft. And when writers do focus on setting, they often pull readers out of the narrative and jolt their attention from the action on the page.

A Writer's Guide to Active Setting will show you how to create vivid, detailed settings that bring your story to life. You'll learn how to deepen character development, anchor readers to a specific time and place, reveal backstory without slowing things down, elevate action sequences, and more.

Drawing upon examples from authors writing across a variety of genres, Mary Buckham will illustrate exactly how the proper use of setting can dramatically improve your story. You'll learn what's effective about each passage and how you can use those techniques to make your story shine.

"Takes an all too often overlooked technique, and elevates it to a next-level game changer for powerful fiction." --Cathy Yardley, author of Rock Your Plot

"A powerful combination of fresh insights, practical examples, and how-to advice on the often overlooked but critical element of setting...written in a quick-to-read and easy-to-understand style, and packed with useful application exercises." --Kelly L. Stone, author of Thinking Write: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind

"If you're a writer, then Mary Buckham's book is a must-have tool for your writer's toolkit. Creating settings that are rich and believable is not an easy task, but with this book, I found that each chapter gave me great tips that I could immediately implement in my manuscript." --Laurie G. Adams, author of Finding Atticus

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1 Choose a room in your home. Look for a more private or personal room—a bedroom, writing area, kitchen—versus a public space—living room, bathroom. This particular room should be anywhere you’d feel comfortable having strangers come in and walk through. Now describe this room in two to four sentences maximum from the following POVs: yours an acquaintance or relative you think may disapprove of you or your life choices your POV (first or third person) looking at a stranger’s place while giving

work hard. Not this New York Times best-selling author. Watch how in one paragraph the reader is quickly re-anchored into the story Setting, taking place in contemporary Seattle. Above my head I heard whispers, and the rasp of claws against stone; and another kind of hum in the air that was partially from the throats of demons in my hair, but mostly the city: engines rumbling low and warm, and the energy running through the veins of the buildings around whose roots we walked. I heard laughter,

character’s emotions, but let’s pull it apart to see the tension and conflict at play in this Setting description. The cluttered kitchen irritates her. [Look at the adjective and active verb here. This is not a woman who is in love with her home. Her growing awareness of dissatisfaction in her life is shown, not told, through her view of her kitchen, a room very often associated with the heart of a home.] The Formica countertop is patterned with pink and black loops like rubber bands lying

don’t leave anything organic here long enough to change from a solid to a liquid giving off gases. If my clothes are within ten feet of the washing machine on wash day, they get washed. If not, they don’t unless I wash them myself. That keeps her out of my room without an invite. I can’t think of a time when I would have kept her out, but her respect for my private space has allowed me a true sanctuary. Which is what I need right now. —Chris Crutcher, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes What if the

the empty hallway, hearing the slap of my hard soles against the worn linoleum, remembering the all-too-many times I had crawled this same route to Mrs. Pendragon’s office. One slap; you’re in trouble. Two slaps; shouldn’t have got caught. Third slap; loser. The stink of sweat and cheap cleaning supplies gagged me back then and did the same today. The flicker of a fluorescent light sent a shiver down my back. But I wasn’t sixteen anymore and heading down the fast slope of trouble even as I

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