Sense of Place

In this post, Linda Apple offers some great ideas to create a sense of place.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen

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Description begins in the writer’s imagination but should finish in the readers.  Stephen King

Sense of place…connection…that is the goal in both fiction and nonfiction. Skillful writers placing their readers in the bodies and minds of their characters, giving just enough tantalizing description to prompt the reader to engage his or her memory and finish the picture. The challenge, however, is to spark readers’ imaginations in new ways and avoid the heavy telling line of adjectives. So how do we do this? Below are four suggestions that have worked for me.

Refresh your senses. Take the job of describing away from your eyes. Go somewhere you can be alone. I like to refresh in the outdoors, but you can do this anywhere. Close your eyes and be silent. Listen, breathe, feel, taste, think. Don’t hurry this. Just relax and let the words come. It takes time but is so…

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Interviewing Your Characters

If you didn’t already know, this is my favorite method of character development. 🙂

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen

How are your story ideas born? For me, it all begins with a character. Maybe it’s someone I see at a mall, or at the airport. Perhaps it’s someone in a car next to me at a traffic light. The list goes on and on.

Next comes “I wonder.”

I wonder why he is smiling? Why is she crying? What makes him clutch so tightly to that steering wheel? Where is he going? Who is going to meet her at the airport?

With such curiosity in the beginning, your character’s story might flow like ice melt in the spring. But lines or pages into your story, “winter” often comes too soon as your ideas once again begin to freeze.

What then?

I’ve shared many of the techniques I’ve used to “thaw the frozen stream” in my book, Creative Characterization. But my favorite method is “Interviewing Your Character.”

Characterization is…

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Junk Yard Dog

PHOTO PROMPT © Nathan Sowers

Who are these humans milling about My Lady’s yard? And why are they touching her things?

Someone picks up my favorite treasure—My Lady’s mirror! The one that once hung in her hallway, where every morning, she’d lean in to put lipstick on before leashing me for our walk. What lipstick had to do with walking, I’ll never know. But I loved our walks. And My Lady. And her mirror.

I growl at the human studying it with smelly hands.

“Harold! Stop!” The Daughter snaps my nose—the very spot where My Lady’s red lips once kissed me.

THE END
98 Words

 

Friday Fictioneers is a compilation of writers from around the world who gather online weekly, guided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The challenge? To write a story in 100 words or less based on a new photo prompt.

To read more stories in an online flash fiction anthology by Friday Fictioneer authors, click:

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Lightness of Being

PHOTO PROMPT © Carla Bicomong

Some found the thought unbearable and couldn’t bring themselves to do it, though like thousands of others, they’d traveled to this sacred place intending to release a burden.

With trembling hands, one man attempted to place his smart phone on the tiny boat of light.

A young woman approached. “You can do it,” she whispered.

“I can’t!” he cried, grabbing the phone. He held it up to take a picture. “Beautiful. I’m sharing on Facebook.”

The woman walked to the shore and took a stranger’s hand. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” she said.

A thousand lights twinkled in the stranger’s eyes. “Indeed.”

THE END
100 Words

Friday Fictioneers is a compilation of writers from around the world who gather online weekly, guided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The challenge? To write a story in 100 words or less based on a new photo prompt.

To read more stories in an online flash fiction anthology by Friday Fictioneer authors, click:

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A Jar Full of Lighters

PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

Out of cigarettes to smoke
out of tissues to wipe away the tears
a final swig of whisky to get him through the night
then he was gone

She came to gather his things
and wondered about all the lighters
as if he’d be lost without one
to light his cigarette or . . .
perhaps to light the candle?

She imagined him
Lighting the wick
with trembling hand
a cigarette dangling from his mouth
as he stared at
two photographs
smudged with fingerprints
dappled with tears
how they came to life
in the dancing flame
then he was gone

_________________________________________

NOTE: I can’t bring myself to type “THE END” for this poem. Even three years later, I find it hard to say it. Suicide. Those left behind never stop missing those who left. We never quit wondering about the last moments, about why and what if. That this poem came to mind so quickly is proof.

Friday Fictioneers is a compilation of writers from around the world who gather online weekly, guided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The challenge? To write a story in 100 words or less based on a new photo prompt. This week’s prompt is by Yvette Prior.

To read more stories in an online flash fiction anthology by Friday Fictioneer authors, click:

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