On Monday, I talked about character description and how it’s best to go with spacing out the details and using observation to describe characters.
The same goes for setting.
When you’re describing a setting, any setting, don’t dedicate a paragraph or two to it. Space out the details and mention them through the characters’ eyes and through their actions.
Example: Her hands shook with the cold as she struck the match against the stone fireplace. Nothing. She tried again, and a spark flew. A third time and then a small flame. Quickly, she set it to the twigs lying underneath the logs, and after a few minutes, a decent sized fire was blazing.
She rubbed her hands together and held them out in front of the flames. Outside, rain poured, dripping off the recently mended roof and mixing with the dirt. On the other side of the room, another girl a few years younger than her still slept.
A small bell chimed and she groaned. Were they really up this early?
With a sigh, she gathered her soot-covered skirt and stood, grabbing her apron off a nearby chair and tying it around her waist before heading to the stove.
Sometimes though, simply saying what kind of room the characters are in is enough, because everyone knows what a living room typically consists of.
Couch, TV, coffee table, bookshelves, etc.
All you need to do is decorate. Set up where the furniture is so that readers can ‘see’ where it is in the room, but again, space out the details and mention them through the characters’ eyes and actions.
Tell me your thoughts below in the comments! What do you think is the best way to describe settings?