When I bumped into Benjamin Franklin yesterday, he told me to have a seat and tell him what was new. Not wanting to saddle him with the troubles of our time, I showed him the best writer’s resources since Roget’s Thesaurus. Then I mentioned the vault brimming with prizes connected to the celebration of these newly released gems. Well, he nearly jumped out of his bronze skin. “Blazes, my fair lady!” he cried. “Thou must go forth and help spread the word!” And so, I am. Not because he insisted on it, but because I already love using the duo’s other thesauri. Now, read on, and then I’ll race you to the vault. Last one there is a fetid egg…
As we write, we can become consumed by the plot, by the story events that sizzle with conflict, tension, and intrigue. But what often holds readers in thrall are our characters and how they grow and change. Who they evolve into, what fears they push past, how they take on pain to reach fulfillment regardless of the challenges—all of these steps in the character's journey, combined with the plot, can create a fascinating trek through the pages of a novel.
And yet there’s another element that’s needed to meld the story and character arc together: the setting. Choosing the right one for each scene is critical to give deeper meaning to the character’s inner and outer journeys. The right setting can symbolize our protagonists’ goals, remind them of their past, steer their choices through emotional triggers, and lend them the strength to soldier on, no matter what opposition stands in their way. But what if “the right setting choice” is one we haven’t experienced ourselves first hand? How do we describe it?
Well, there’s some good news on that front. Two new books have released this week that may change the description game for writers. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Spaces look at the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds that a character might experience within 225 different contemporary settings. And this is only the start of what these books offer writers.
In fact, swing by and check out this hidden entry, HOUSE PARTY, a location from the Rural Setting Thesaurus volume.
And there’s one more thing you might want to know more about….
Becca and Angela, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, are celebrating their double release with a fun event going on from June 13-20th called ROCK THE VAULT. At the heart of Writers Helping Writers is a tremendous vault, and these two ladies have been hoarding prizes of epic writerly proportions.
A safe full of prizes, ripe for the taking…if the writing community can work together to unlock it, of course.
Ready to do your part? Stop by Writers Helping Writers to find out more!