Playing With Setting

I visited a furniture store last weekend.  Why?  This particular store is one of my hubby's favorites.  What he doesn't realize is that it's one of the best places not only to inspire setting but also to jump into characters.  I shall endeavor to explain.

There is a particular table I spotted for my sun room.  My hubby was quick to point out that we don't have a sun room.  "Not yet," I replied. 

He didn't understand that the fact that I saw the table installed a sun room in the world in my head. 

I pictured a kaleidoscope of colors being cast through to the ground.  I was seated on a comfortable chair at the lovely table, sipping pink lemonade, or wait, it was peach iced tea.  I propped my feet up on an adjacent chair, flirted with a perfect stranger, and spared a glance at my swimming pool. (No pool.  We're in Nebraska.) 

There was a draft, but wait, that means the sun room just became an enclosed porch with screens.  The winds picked up.  The trees were suddenly swaying.  A crash of thunder indicated that a storm was coming.  My heart was beating faster.  Huge clouds floated overhead, dark, threatening.  The skies were overcast, snuffing my mood, stealing the sun.

All this from looking at a table.  I no longer wanted it.  My perception as a human was altered.  So I played a game.  What if I were an animal?  What would a dog do?

Why a dog?  I've always been an animal lover, and I like including them in my writing.  It's important to make them real, to feel what they feel.

In the animal kingdom female dogs are dominant.  Surely such a sophisticated creature would not play an adequate role here.  No, so I became a male dog, slightly pudgy, hairy, and filthy from playing outside.  I proceeded to run around the table caking the legs with mud.  The thunder scared me.  I whined, humped my human's leg to get attention, hid under the table, made a puddle.  The humans hurried to clean it up.  They petted my head for being vulnerable and adorable.  They took me inside, fed me a treat, and rubbed my belly until the storm was gone.

I like the table.  From a dog's perspective, it brought my sun back. 

Setting is a powerful thing.  It can affect our moods or illustrated them.  The clouds can emphasize the fact that we're angry or sad.  The sunshine can show the world that we're overjoyed or successful.  The elements as well as our surroundings can help create the mood.  Just my thoughts for the day.

I'm up to a point in my WIP where I strongly focus on my hero.  I want the world to know his soul the way I do.  In order to achieve this, tomorrow I'm going to spend the day pretending I'm a man.  Eccentric?  You betcha, but oh so fun.

Have a great day...^-^....


  1. Interesting post on setting!

    It does help create a mood for a story. I love playing around with it--although it often happens that the weather in my stories is mostly clouds or sunshine in the first draft. :P

  2. Thanks. For some reason even my dark stories tend to be loaded with sunshine...^-^...

  3. Setting is vital, I think, almost as if it's another character. Some writers completely ignore it while others consume reams of paper in overblown descriptions so long I become bored. I think the best way to use setting is in small increments sprinkled throughout the narrative instead of long blurbs only at the beginning of each chapter.

  4. I couldn't agree with you more, Nancy. Small increments is the best way. Too much of it bores me to tears.

  5. Gee whiz, gurl. All that from looking at a table?!
    You are blessed with the eyes and mind of a creative soul.

    Good stuff to remember! How was your vacation?

  6. Hey Bryce, at least I didn't go into detail about the creativity the sofa conjured up. My vacation was great, a lot of writing. It doesn't get better than that...^-^...

  7. This is great. I can't wait until tomorrow!

  8. Thanks, Desert Rocks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Everyone remember that tomorrow I'm spending the day pretending to be a man for the sake of character development. I will post my experiences on Friday.

  9. LOL, spending the day thinking of yourself as a man. Love it. Good luck, and have fun!!

  10. Thanks Carol, I'm having fun already. :)

  11. I have similar imagines or internal dialogs pop into my head as I go through the day. The difference is I seldom relay them to my wife. She knows I write, but she doesn't get how we writers operate. She does not get that our minds are always on. The mind of a writer is constantly bombarded with scenarios of what ifs or what would so and so might say in this situation. Heh, great post, makes me feel less alone in the world to know others do this type of thing.


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