We’ve been talking about this a lot.
#1 DINNER TOGETHER
504 West 2230 North, Provo
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
(Thank you, Ilima, for reminding me to add a DATE. So dumb.)
Bring 300 words to read. Also, we’re eating dinner, so come prepared to do that, too.
#2 Cheryl Van Eck
As anyone that has ever critiqued my work will tell you, I’m terrible at “sense of place.” Carol wrote “SOP” on my papers so often that it often formed a decorative border. I skip over descriptive passages in books so often that I skip them when I write, too.
But there are a few books in which setting is so important that even I took notice. Harry Potter, for one, along with Beautiful Creatures and Anna and the French Kiss. In these books, the setting is necessary to the story, as essential as any character or plot twist. The settings add depth and make the characters three dimensional. They influence dialogue and behavior.
Mastering sense of place can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Take a look at your setting. How can you make the reader feel they’ve actually traveled there? What does it look like at morning, noon, and night? What cultural attitudes affect the story? What is the history of the town, and how does it affect the main character? What are the defining details in the scene?
#3 Brenda Bensch
Today’s news is filled with information about the latest storms and bad weather. We’ve had more than our fill of that of late, haven’t we? Just in the good ol’ U.S., we’ve had heat and lack-of-rain-caused drought, fires, floods, blizzards, cancelled flights by the thousands, loss of electrical power, horrific multi-vehicle road accidents, temperature drops in Texas from 80 to 20 degrees on successive days.
What’s going on? Weather, that’s what!
Instead of reading about it, talking about it, and doing NOTHING about it, let’s WRITE about it! How do sudden changes affect your characters? How does ordinary weather, be it sunshine and light breezes, or an average day’s snowfall in the mountains, affect your story?
With everyone thinking about weather, reading about it in the news, talking and talking yet doing nothing about it, we should key into that interest and use it to help make our stories feel REAL.
Write a scene about ordinary weather. Just an ordinary, average day in your setting. Then try making it — suddenly
and unexpectedly — extreme. What do your characters do? Or avoid doing? Or talk about?