Writing Prompt to Break Your Writer’s Block : Describe Your Setting

What is the character of your setting?
In many stories that I read the setting usually becomes a character in itself. Is that the city the story takes place in or the house/the home that the characters are moving in and out of.
For your setting, whether it is a city, an unknown land, a building, etc. how do the people who enter that space feel? How do the features of that space accent that feeling? Is it a confining space that makes people start to stoop and hunch their shoulders as they approach it? Is it an idyllic space that inspires people to stand tall or gives them the energy to tackle their challenges?

As an example in my collection of short stories, The Games You Cannot Win, the final story in the collection, Escaping Avila Chase, is set in Philadelphia. The city features heavily in the telling of the story and becomes a secondary character in how the main character, Trevor, interacts with it.

In my novel, Enemies of Peace, a thriller set in the suburbs, the home that the Lawsons move into reflects what is happening within their marriage.

The setting can just be a setting. But it can also be more. Maybe your story has two people sitting on a park bench to have a conversation. Setting is a park, they are on a bench. You can describe this quickly. But there can also be more. The park is an open space, are their children laughing in the background and does that go along with the conversation that your characters are having, or is that at odds with the tone of that conversation. Is it cold out, has one of the characters been waiting on the bench for a while out in the cold? Is there gum or goo on the bench so one of the characters is sitting in an odd position to avoid getting it on their clothes? Is there a pigeon or a squirrel who is pestering your characters during their conversation? If you are stuck with your current work in progress go back and write out the setting. It may not make the final cut, but it can get you our of your block.


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