Wednesday, April 6, 2016

E is for Environment

E is for Environment. When writing a scene, we often focus on the who and the what but seem to forget about the where. In just a few words you can bring life to your scene. It’s like going from black and white to color.

Where are your characters? Outdoors? What season is it? What is the weather like? Is the wind whipping through their hair or is snow collecting in the folds of their jackets? Speaking of jackets, are your character’s physical descriptions aligned with their surrounding? You wouldn’t have a lady in a ball gown traipsing through the swamp. Well, you might, but it would require some explanation. Are your characters using their senses? What do they smell, hear, taste, see, and feel?

The environment can become a character in the story. A thriving city often has as much personality as human characters. In stories of survival, the weather and terrain may turn out to be the antagonist the hero must conquer.

As we plow through our real lives, we often forget to notice our own environment. Sitting at the computer, I often look up to realize that I have spent the better part of a beautiful spring day inside with my head buried in my own world. (Looks out the window with a sigh. “I may have to mow again this weekend.") E is for Environment. #atozchallenge
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