|  getting started > people > places > make it interesting  > life context


                                                      HOW TO WRITE ABOUT PLACES

We’re all products of our environment, whether we like it or not. Your hometown influenced the hobbies you pursued, the clothes you wore, the principles that guided your life, the way your parents disciplined you, the way you thought about yourself, and more. Decisions about education and career were probably shaped by your environment, as well. It’s important that you describe the important places in your life in such a way that they come alive for your readers, so they can visualize what it was like to live in those areas when you lived there.


      Describe places the way they were when you lived there. 

      Don’t make "setting" descriptions sound like a travel brochure, detailing the history, economy, weather, population, etc. Keep your descriptions personal. What did these places mean to you? What do readers need to know to visualize them the way you do?

      Include sensory details—the sights, sounds, scents, and feel of these locations.

      Mention specific place names—the name of the soda fountain where the kids congregated after football games, the name of the gas station where you worked during the summer, etc.

      Which of the following topics would make your settings come alive for your readers and illustrate what these places meant to you? Choose a few and weave this information into your story.

P   Weather
P Industries—Was there a predominant industry in your community?
P Population—size, ethnicity, socio-economic levels, prejudices, religion.
P   Entertainment—What did you do for fun?
P   Hangouts--Bob's Big Boy, the A&W?
P Transportation
P   Traditions—county fairs, sports, picnics, parades, etc.
P   First impressions—What would strangers notice the first time they came to your town?
P Daily life—the Good Humor man, the coal man, party lines, incinerators, outhouses. 
P   Attitudes and Values--Prejudiced? Friendly? Conservative? Caring?



designed by ccmacs studio