Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Where Are We? Fun With Setting Descriptions

Lately I've been trying to work more on setting descriptions in scenes. It's a weakness of mine that I know needs help so I thought today I would challenge us to a writing prompt using our current characters.

Below I'm including a few photos for inspiration. Pick a photo and use it to inspire a scene with your characters - you can set them in the photo or use it to inspire a different setting or memory. Whatever you choose, let's see if we can work on how we layer and add setting descriptions into the scene to enhance it and not just as filler (as I have a tendency to do).

Let's see those scenes! Take some time to think about it and then come back and share. 


Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

I scared you off with homework this morning! AHHHHH - let's all grab coffee and then come back...

MsHellion said...

I think you had great pictures; I think the first two could be actually useful in my current WIP. Let's see if I can crank something out. It's been a long time since we've done any "madwrites" which is what this reminds me of.

MsHellion said...

Here you go--this is me playing:

Adam stared down the airport mainway, watching people mill where their planes would take out and others weaving in and out as they hastened to their terminal. A lot of people…and not unlike the city of Babel. How was he ever going to find his wife in this?
He was poked from the side and he looked down, realizing he’d already forgotten about Vicky. “Yes?”
“You’re seriously not going to approach your wife here without at least a handful of flowers, are you? It’s this lack of detail that got you in trouble to begin with.”
Flowers. Women. Adam bit back a snarky response because regardless of what he felt for the glorified weeds, women did enjoy them, and he enjoyed pleasing Eve, so it wasn’t completely without merit.
“Of course.”
Vicky pointed to a shop next to them, a tiny bubble of a space that seemed to explode with a rainbow of flowers in all sizes and shapes. Vicky prodded him into the area just as a employee approached them, looking as intimidating as all the flowers.
“Good morning. Looking for a bouquet?”
Oh, he liked when women could cut to the chase of something.
“Yes. A medium sized one, I think.” He was poked in the side again. “Huge, gigantic one, I mean. Something that really says something.”
The woman seemed to be biting back a smile. “Right. And the person you’re—“
“My wife.”
“Right, your wife, does she have a favorite color or flower?”
Adam looked around madly at the flowers: blue ones, red ones, pink ones, yellow ones, white ones, purple ones, and ones that looked like aliens on the top of stems. How could that be a flower? What would she even like?
Then he saw it. A flower that had been in the garden with them, one that she had nurtured and talked to when they lived in their little hut. It was a lone lanky looking branch of a stem with three pink and yellow and purple flowers at the top.
“She likes those things.” He pointed.
“The orchid?”
“Good choice. These have been very popular this morning. A lady just left with one. She said it reminded her of happier times.”

Sabrina Shields said...

Oh Hellie I love it! Those last two lines just bring it all together perfectly. Awesome job!

Marnee Bailey said...

Huh.... I don't know if I can write anything yet this morning to include these.... But the top picture reminds me of the first scene from Violet's POV. She's standing in the conservatory, waiting on her client.


An event like this could mean independence at last. She could be free from all of her financial burdens. She could finally stand on her own.
Violet sighed a happy sigh and admired the different varieties of foreign and domestic flowers. As she waited for the signorina, she skimmed her mental list of acquaintances, wondering who would marry the lovely heiress. She bent over and straightened a row of potted daisies with an absentminded touch. They were scattered, impeding the footpath. Never a need for untidiness.
“You haven’t changed.”
The masculine voice drifted from behind her and fear sliced her stomach. She was, after all, very much alone now that Sybil had gone off to bend the butler’s ear. Though Syon Park wasn’t a public residence, it must employ dozens of servants.
But, as she turned, her fear bloomed into something much more complicated.
Thaddeus Bruce.
Still obscenely handsome. Tall with dark good looks, wide jaw, and deep set pale blue eyes. Full lips better suited to a fallen angel than a marquess. As rangy as the black jungle cat she’d seen at the circus but—as she remembered from past experience—as charming as a fairy tale prince.
In summation? As sensual and dynamic as he’d been when they’d shared a bed almost three years ago.
What was he doing here?
“Excuse me?” she managed.
“Your I-need-to-tidy-something look. Just as I remember it.” He stopped in front of her, motioning to the potted daisies she’d just straightened. “In the next row I saw some bluebells that could use organization. Dreadful groupings.”

MsHellion said...

"Dreadful groupings." *ROTFLMAO* Love it!

Terri Osburn said...

I'm late!! Sorry, crazy, crazy times at the day job. Reading the blog now. Hopefully with no interruptions.

Maureen said...

Homework?! Egads! Though two of the crew have already done brilliant things... Okay, I'll give it a go... Off to write about that treelined trail...

Terri Osburn said...

This just isn't my day. Hopefully I'll be able to play later this afternoon. Sorry!

But I do love this. It's like you were in my room last night while I was reading notes from my editor like, "Set the scene here? Where are they? What does it look like??"

Maureen said...

She held tightly to him, still worried he would slip away.
“Jenny, I need to breath.”
His dry tones got through to her and she loosened her grip. Just a little.
A moment later, the spinning world of cloud, sky, landscape – all swirling about them in a confusing mess of where was up and where was down – settled. Gravity took hold just as she sighted the path through the trees. Twisting their bodies she fought the imperative to obey the law of physics and brought them down somewhat gently. She was getting better at handling two people.
“Ooof.” Holmes let out a small groan. “I think there is a tree root at my back.”
Jenny rolled off her companion with a sigh. She’d been enjoying the sense of a world around them again. The air from her travel bubble had been growing a bit stale and the glorious scent of forest now filled her lungs.
He shifted and let out a deep breath. “Much better.” He climbed to his feet and looked down at her.
“Hey, you’re blocking my view. I mean, look around, this is fabulous! All those trees, growing into an arch, tangled branches leaning into each other. It must be spring, I can see the bare buds at a few of them.”
He took a deep breath, brushing the debris from the path from his coat. She stopped gesturing and smiled as he offered her a hand. “You’ll be even more impressed when you’re standing. Trust me.”
She couldn’t lie here all day. Taking his hand, she climbed to her feet and immediately stumbled. But that was all right, he was there, to catch her and hold her upright.
This could be an excellent adventure!

P. Kirby said...

Totally non sequitur. After the HEA in my WIP. Kelly and Eric are shopping for a dinner party gift (Eowyn is Kelly's teenage niece.):
Timmer’s Blooms was sandwiched between a tattoo shop and a comic book store, on a busy stretch of Central Avenue across from the University of New Mexico. Just as Kelly and Eric reached Timmer’s door, a skinny teenage boy with spiky purple hair emerged from the comic book store. With a smooth flick of his wrist, he dropped a skateboard to the sidewalk with a clack, hopped aboard and whizzed past Kelly and Eric.

Eric watched the boy, in particular, the skateboard, with a very male expression of fascination. Kelly grinned. The man could fold space and bend light, had commanded starships and led insurrections, but could still be distracted by a low-tech toy. Go figure.

A bell sounded as Kelly stepped through the shop’s doorway. She took off her sunglasses. Eric, of course, left his on. The shopkeeper, a forty-ish man with a neat gray beard, waved at them from the back of the store where he tended to another customer.

The shop had the no-fuss, efficient display style of a small local business. Pots, filled with plants blooming in a colorful riot, were arrayed neatly on the gray brick floor. More plants, pots and other garden stuff were set on mismatched, but tidy shelves and tables. The exposed metal roof trusses had been painted white and sunlight spilled into the space through a long skylight at the roof’s peak. The air was filled with a heavenly sweet scent.

Eric, being Eric, made a cat-hacking-up-a-hairball sound. “It smells like Eowyn when she and her friends have been at the perfume counter at Macy’s.”

Kelly bit back a laugh, and jabbed him in the ribs with an elbow. “Shhh. Be nice.”

“I am being nice. I could have said it reeked like a smelly mortal, who, rather than bathe, drowned himself in cheap cologne.”

Kelly blasted him with a exasperated glance and then bent and picked up a plant with soft gray leaves and deep purple flowers. “How about this?”

“It’s a lovely doomed thing,” observed Eric dryly. “Aracely will have it dead in two days.” He pulled a face. “I thought wine was a suitable dinner gift.”

“Usually. But her new boyfriend is a former alcoholic. She specifically said ‘No booze.’”

“‘No booze?’ At all? That rather obliterates the ‘party’ aspect of dinner party, doesn’t it?” He was starting to pick up a suggestion of his arrogant, princely self, right down to the imperious sniff as he looked around the flower shop.

“This isn’t Vharsheim,” grumbled Kelly. “We can’t just magick up the perfect gift.”

“That’s not how we do things on Vharsheim either,” he replied.

Kelly studied the plant in her hands. Eric had a point. Aracely’s thumb was nowhere near green; the woman could kill plastic plants. Kelly looked up at the tall man at her side. “What do you suggest? We go up into the Manzano Mountains, put a bullet in Bambi and bring the corpse to dinner?”

At this his angular face brightened with boyish mirth. “Splendid idea!”

She shoved the plant into his arms. “How about we just give this thing last rites, pay for it and get out of here?”

Tah-dah. I'm countin' that as 500 words toward the daily 1000.

Maureen said...

Nice one, Pat! I love the whole arrogant, princely self, right down to the imperious sniff stuff!

P. Kirby said...

Thanks, Maureen. Yours is fab, all full of action and brimming with tension. All the others are nifty as well. It's sooo cool seeing how everyone's writerly minds work! Lots of talent on your ship.