WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF A WRITER’S DREAM HOME?

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Dream big – what’s your idea of a dream home for a writer? Here is my short list:
1. To recharge, we need to be able to connect with nature. Ideally, I’d love to conquer writer’s block by taking a walk in the woods. Other writers might prefer a walk on the beach, a hike in the mountains, or apartment patio gardening.
2. A large tub with whirlpool jets to soak our aching backs would be great. Doesn’t that sound great after a writing marathon?
3. A room or a “suite” that is separate from the rest of the house would help us write with more focus. This could be a large den on the second floor with windows so that the writer can gaze at the setting sun on tree tops. High above the world, he can hone his craft.
4. Sell us a house with interesting designs, provenance, or ghosts. We will incorporate the house into our writing. Haunted house, anyone? What a fun writing prompt that would be!
5. Writers tend to go into hibernation at times, so if the house had a good security system, we could keep solicitors and mothers-in-law from intruding.
6. One room has to be a library, or at least one wall should be earmarked for shelves. Writers are readers.

Writers, what features would your dream house have? Does the right environment help you overcome writer’s block?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

Keep writing & keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz

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5 GREAT TIPS FOR WRITING SETTING INTO YOUR STORY

The texture of a slimy earthworm, the sound of a creeking door, the lack of sight in a dark and cold mausoleum, and the taste of bile in your mouth upon seeing a decaying corpse are all examples of setting in a story.

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It’s surprising to me that writers often focus on character development, dialog, and action sequence, and while juggling all these balls in the air, they drop the ball on setting.

Setting explains the physical environment of your characters and gives the reader a shift in mood. Writers are good at letting us know when it rains, but give us more than the dew point. Is the room crowded? Is it noisy or quiet? What colors pop out? Does it smell musty, fresh, or malodorous?

Certain types of music can also provide setting – Nirvana’s 90’s grunge has a different vibe from Bob Marley, for instance. What your characters are wearing can also add depth.

If you get writer’s block when describing setting, try some of these tips:
1. Physically go to a location that is similar to your story. For instance, if your characters are in a restaurant, bring writing materials with you to your next dining experience and record every sight, sound, and taste.
2. Look at a photo of a similar location. Use photos of your own or use Google images.
3. If setting is a weak point for you, then simply plow through your story and add setting later.
4. My FAVORITE tip, which I recently used myself: after the story was done, I created an outline in Microsoft Excel. I created a new row for each chapter. The columns were labeled as:
A. Chapter #
B. Name of Chapter
C. Brief description of events
D. Character name & descriptors (this shows me in which chapter the character was first introduced)
E. SETTING. this shows where certain setting elements are first introduced and prevents duplicate descriptions. This also shows which chapters are lacking setting references.
5. If you have a favorite book that is replete with setting, glance through the pages. My fave author who is masterful at setting is Carlos Luis Zafron, who wrote “Prisoner of Heaven” and other modern-day gothic tales.

Some writers are masterful at setting while others struggle. What works best for you? I’d love to hear from you.

Keep writing and keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz