Writing Prompt – Thursday 28th May

Today’s writing prompt is about settings. Many writers do a great job with action and dialogue but don’t add the ‘word pictures’ that show the reader where the action is set and draw them fully into the story. The setting in some novels is almost like another character – e.g Wuthering Heights, Rebecca and Jane Eyre.

Is your character able to look out of a window? If so, what can they see? Are they able to leave the room they are in without permission? Make sure the view changes as the seasons move through the year. Maybe they’re in a room without a window – e.g. a prison cell or they can’t get to look out of a window because they are ill in bed.

For today’s exercise, look at a story you’ve been working on. Pick one of the settings and sit for a few minutes and visualise it fully. Then write down everything you can think of to describe it. Use all the senses. For instance:

SIGHT – golden wheat, green grass, grey clouds, a round window with spokes like a wheel. A patch of sunlight on the wooden floor at midday.

SOUND – raised voices in another part of the house, the scratch of a mouse behind the skirting board, birdsong, hoof-beats, the slam of a door.

SMELL – lavender on the sheets, fresh bread, leather, beeswax polish, horse manure, wet dog.

TASTE – fresh strawberries, sour milk, burnt toast, melted chocolate.

TEXTURE – velvet, silk, wood, stone, metal, glass.

Check that you have used all the senses when you write. Don’t weigh the story down with too much detail – a few brush-strokes are enough.




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