How To Set A Scene Like A Pro

By on January 16, 2018
How To Set A Scene Like A Pro - Writer's

When it comes to writing a book, setting the scene, so it draws the reader in and creates a platform for the action that’s about to unfold is so essential.

All great writers need to learn how to paint a picture, how to create a setting that appeals to the senses and allows readers to become immersed in it as if they were there themselves.

Becoming a master at scene setting takes time and practice. You are setting the scene from a particular character’s point of view, and the reader therefore see’s it as they would. So considering that character’s personality, use of language and the way their mind works will influence which details are shared with the reader, what they notice and how that makes them feel.

Scene setting is a great way to prepare the reader for what’s to come. For example, the description may be one big metaphor for how a character is feeling or what action they decide to take next. Authors do this often using devices such as pathetic fallacy (projecting human feelings onto inanimate objects to determine the mood) to indirectly demonstrate how a character is feeling or letting the reader know what’s in store for them next.

The basics of scene setting require a writer to think about the senses. A well-set scene will appeal to all five senses, thus really giving the reader an idea of what it is like to be there. Every time you write a new scene, it is a good idea to think about the five senses and try to include a description that appeals to all of them. It’s all too easy just to describe what a character see’s and forget to mention what he or she hears, smells, feels or tastes.

Creating a great scene is one of the ways that you can demonstrate your own stamp as a writer, and really let your unique writing voice come through. Some writers are known for their use of poetic language, for example, others may be celebrated for their smart descriptive words or the way they are very economical and sparse in their descriptions yet manage to pick exactly the right adjective to precisely conjure up powerful images in the reader's mind.

A scene should not only appeal to the senses but also provoke an emotional reaction in the reader. Writing powerful descriptions can ignite an emotional charge in your reader. If you are trying to get them to feel a particular way or have a sense of what the character is feeling, then using the scene to reflect this can make your writing even more powerful and effective.

At the end of the day, becoming a master at scene-setting will significantly enhance your book and immediately make the reader want to know more about what’s going on. So make sure that next time you sit down to write, you pay attention and take the time to set a brilliant scene and let your story unfold from there!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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