Monday, June 22, 2009

Outside Intervention

Belinda here.

Today we are talking about the part of writing where I struggle most.


You know the old saying-rain, snow, sleet or hail.....

You know the seasons-winter, summer, spring and fall.....

You know the things we see outside-trees, grass, sunshine, clouds.....

This week I'm focusing on outdoor settings. They are as much as a part of the story as the plot and characters, but I tend to forget they exist. At any given moment, read the rough draft of my current manuscript and you have no idea where my people are.

I've heard setting can be a character. I know authors who write setting without thinking. Who integrate it into the story as if it were another character and give it the attention it deserves. I get there---eventually. But it's not second nature. It's a part of writing I truly have to work with carefully.

When I insert the setting into the first draft it looks like a draft where I've inserted the setting. It seems forced. The descriptions are stuck in like a straw in a soda. But after working with it, weaving the words between dialogue and action it starts to take shape. Starts to seem natural.

How are you when it comes to setting? If you are a writer do you naturally write it in? If you are a reader what type of settings do you like to read about?


  1. Setting is a struggle for me too. I've tried to learn by going through some of my favorite stories and highlighting areas where the author has woven setting into the story. But I definitely have to work at it.

  2. Setting is a struggle as well. I get crits back saying "get me grounded" So, I've been working on that as well.

    I LOVE it when an author can pull me in by painting a great picture of the character's surroundings and feelings. :-)

    Thanks for the post!

  3. I struggle as well. My first drafts are pretty much talking heads!

  4. Ladies,
    Looks like we are all in the same boat! Maybe I'll dig up some stuff on setting and have a few posts the next few weeks.

  5. Setting is definitely something I have to layer back in to the story. only on rare occasions do I integrate it into that first draft. If I have, it usually means I've had complete peace while writing the story and NO interruptions. That's rare ;)

  6. Over the years I spent various seasons working on specific aspects of my writing. Once I went through that season of working on layering in my description, it started becoming part of my writing so that now I write it in as I write. It didn't used to be that way. That doesn't mean I don't have to go back and massage it into better shape. I just don't have to do as many revisions as I used to have to do.