Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Introducing Scenery In Your Story

The month of July is my birthday. I will be sixty-seven. Yikes! It seems so old. Who said that age is just a number? Age isn’t just a number. A sixty-seven year old body – and sometimes mind – is not the same as a twenty-seven year old.

My age doesn’t bother me. Being old does bother me – specifically what it does to my body. Getting older has made me more reflective about my life, life in general, and the world. In sixty-seven years, things have changed. I have changed. I grieve for my country, for humanity – those that are lost and deceived and don’t even realize it. I ache for some of my family members who flounder through life.

If I’m not careful, I tend to reflect on negative things in my life and in the world around me. Go away pity-party negativity; you are not my friend. There is so much beauty and blessings surrounding me – so many things I didn’t notice or appreciate when I was young.

Our Earth is quite amazing. When I was young, why didn’t I appreciate the awe of sunsets and sunrises? Were the mountains always so breathtaking? I’ve lived in Arizona all my life and travelling across our state was a cheap adventure for my poor family when I was a child. As a child, I was never amazed like I am now that one can travel a hundred plus miles from the desert area of Phoenix to forests and lakes and streams. The desert is beautiful. At least I think it is.

My husband, uh, not so much. But I also think forests, seashores, mountains, valleys, and all in between are beautiful. As a writer, I need to subtly incorporate scenery and landscape into my story to give the reader a feel or glimpse of the setting. Subtly. Not overburden the reading with pages of describing scenery. As a reader, I skim past pages like that.

Below are two excerpts from books I’m working on that describe location and scenery without blasting the readers by overdoing it.

(Josiah stood and stared out the window at the landscape, noticing but not really seeing, the lizard scurrying across the Tucson, Arizona desert.)

(The sun was barely peeking over the horizon and the air was chilly on this crisp October morning in Flagstaff, Arizona. Cold air filled Lily’s lungs with tiny razors slashing her chest.)

So, my writers friends, be creative in introducing your readers to where the story takes place.

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