Setting Examples

From Elizabeth Enright’s Thimble Summer:

Garnet turned and ran across the hot fields. The oat stubble stood up like little lances and hurt her bare feet and grasshoppers popped and scattered like sparks from a fire. Tears filled her eyes and made the meadow surge and swim before her in a golden flood.

From Jack D. Ferraiolo’s The Big Splash: A memory I forgot I had popped into my head. I remembered trooping into the cafeteria/auditorium/gym in the middle of the day, glad for any break in the daily routine. I remembered how the room had a wierd, musty smell, like old clothes and paste. I remembered how cold and uncomfortable those metal folding chairs were. They had to be. The heat was cranked up to 85 degrees. If the chairs had been comfortable, I’d still be asleep there.

From Willa Cather’s My Antonia: As I looked about me I felt that the grass was the country, as the water is the sea. The red of the grass made all the great prairie the color of wine-stains, or of certain seaweeds when they are first washed up. And there was so much motion in it; the whole country seemed, somehow, to be running.

Writing Exercise: Choose an example from above. Using your own characters and setting, use their example to craft your setting. For instance, in Thimble Summer, the character does an action with the setting. Next comes a description with active verbs and similies. Next, the character REacts. Finally, the setting itself creates an action.


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