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Set the Stage

Video Four

Set the Stage

Now that I’ve talked about why place is important in your writing, I’ll discuss how to write about place. It is tempting to write long, descriptive paragraphs that set the scene before moving on to your story’s action, but that will slow the pace of your story.

In this video, I’ll give you practical tips and an assignment that will bring your places to life with just a few well-chosen, significant, and sense-awakening details. Here’s a chart to use while setting the stage for your story. This outline will help you keep track of it all as you watch.


  • beckymcg19
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Sorry I did not draw my bedroom, because the minute you said room, my mind went back to my Grandmothers house, at Christmas time. My brother, sister and I slept on the floor in front of the tree, which filled the room with a pine scent. At night a cool breeze came in through a high window over the a white couch. A train whistle could be heard in the distance at eight pm, our bedtime. I would wake up to the smell of coffee and the sight of my Grandmother in her pink flowered robe, making breakfast. I joined her to drink my special Santa coffee, (mostly milk with a drop of coffee). I always felt special and loved. She and I would drink our coffee and tell secrets. But this time was short because the breakfast smells of ham, biscuits, gravey and eggs filled the house and woke everyone up. The kitchen turned into a hub of food and chatter.

    Thanks for this exercise, I need to add more to this, but it is a start. What a fond memory to have in my mind today.

    • Ricki Aiello
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:24 pm

      Lovely, Becky. It brings to mind my experience with my grandmother who somehow managed to spoil us while still teaching us right from wrong, good from bad, kind from cruel. She was a teacher who taught us by example…never berated us for slips. Her home had such lovely smells and sweet, tempting pastries. We loved being there. Keep writing…this has worth.

  • Jacqueline Trudeau
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Thank you for the level of detail provided in all the ways to Set the Stage. Transferring the pictures in my mind to the written page is always a challenge, but I look forward to applying several of these techniques to my next story. In fact, I now have a title for my new story, “Lost in the Magic Kingdom.”

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