Creative Writing Setting
Character and Setting • Read “Setting and Character” from Burroway’s Writing Fiction
Character and Setting • One of the most economical means of sketching a character is simply to show readers a personal space the character has created, be it a bedroom, locker, kitchen, hideout, office cubicle, or even the interior of a car. • Spend 15 minutes describing what makes up your newly created character’s personal space.
Setting and Emotion • Describe a scene in which you are snuggling with a new romantic other. Outside there is rain, thunder and lightning. • Four sentences
Setting and Emotion • Describe a scene in which you have just broken up with a long-term romantic other. Outside there is rain, thunder and lightning. • Four sentences
Reflect • How did the descriptions of the weather change for you and your group members?
Alien and Familiar Setting • Two things to consider when writing about setting: • We should make the ordinary fresh and strange • We should report extreme things as if they were ordinary
Astonished by the Familiar • …endless scorched boulevards lined with one-story stores, shops, bowling alleys, skating rinks, taco drive-ins, all of them shaped not like rectangles but like trapezoids, from he way the roofs slant up from the back and the plate-glass fronts slant out as if they’re going to pitch forward on the sidewalk and throw up. • Ross Macdonald—The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby
Familiar with the Astonishing • It was quiet in the deep morning of Mars, as quiet as a cool black well, with stars shining in the canal waters, and breathing in every room, the children curled with their spiders in closed hands. • Ray Bradbury—The Martian Chronicles
Exercise • Write a passage about something you are more than familiar with (your room, your neighborhood, your house, your city, your landscape, your school, etc.), but write with the idea of “Astonished by the Familiar”
Exercise • Write a passage about some extreme circumstance or place (dystopia, post apocalypse, under water, moon, etc.) but write with the idea of “Familiar with the Astonishing”
Collaborate • Write a description of the setting you are assigned. Do not mention the circumstance or emotion.
Use these for the previous slide—copy to a word doc, print, and pass out • Write a description of a barn as seen by an old man or woman whose son has just been killed in a war. • Write a description of a lake by someone who has just committed a murder. • Write a description of a grocery store by a mother or father of three small children. The parent is away from the children for the first time in a week. • Write a description of a jail cell as seen by a prisoner who is about to be released after a 10-year sentence.