Creative Exercise #7


Setting is one of the most important elements in fiction writing. If your readers don’t know where the story is taking place, they’ll get lost and confused, and it will be hard for them to enjoy your tale.

Some stories have simple settings based on real places. You can use your hometown or a major city. A setting can also be completely dreamed up, which is often necessary in speculative fiction writing. You can keep a setting in the background, referring to it only when necessary, or you can bring it to the forefront and allow it to function as a character in your story.

  1. Take some time to think about your story's particular setting (it's helpful to use the setting of a story you're currently writing!). If this is a place you have been, you might look at old photographs, maps, or diary entries. If you have not been there, check out some books or look online.
  2. Start with sight, which is for many of us the most immediate sense. In a notebook, write down every image that comes to mind, whether it pertains to your story or not. Free associate. It doesn't have to make sense or be grammatical. Just get down as much as you can.
  3. Repeat the above for taste, smell, sound, and touch. Again, don't be afraid of unconventional answers. You never know what might end up in your final story.
  4. In one line  sum up the mood you hope to evoke in your readers through your setting. Is it a feeling of loneliness, menace, nostalgia, contentment?
  5. Look at the lists you've compiled. Which elements will contribute to this dominate mood? Which elements will complicate that mood? Which will distract from it?  Now, write a 500 description of your setting, and post it below.

Be sure to make a comment on a classmate's post for full credit.


26 thoughts on “Creative Exercise #7

  1. Lilia Lundquist

    The space is tight, on the walls hang backpacks and hats. Both are well worn and speckled with mud. One hat is not hanging, he wears it almost every day, it sits on a small shelf. Forest green with a frayed bill, it has saved him from sunburn and bad hair days. The cedar wood panels give off a rough cool surface that makes the space feel rustic. The smell of wood and fire is given off from the dirty clothes that sit in a tan laundry hamper. I have become so use to associating the smell with his space that it is the first thing that comes to mind when I smell a fire. On one wall rests three shelves, they hold jars, maps, pockets knives, leather oil, things that I find useless, but he relies on. At the opposite side a small table holds keys, letters and scattered coins. One of my hair clips lies among the various objects. I’ve been told a handful of times to take it with me when I leave but it seems to fit in among everything else, so I ignore his request. There is no order, things are simply set where it is convenient. His closet holds an array of clothing for all seasons. Neatly folded wool sweaters are stacked on the top shelf tucked away until the cold returns. Light flannels and cotton tees hang side by side waiting to be picked to go out on the town. Below all this rests a pair of large heavy black boots. They have endured years of summer wear through forests destroyed by fires. They are very valuable to him, so they get their very own spot, always visible and ready to head out into field. In the corner there is a set of skis, retired for the season. They seem as though they are hibernating, hiding behind sweaters and tees. In the center of the room lies a large bed. It is unmade with a comforter on top with small salmon painted in muted blue tones. The space is warm and inviting, the mess provides me with comfort. Growing up we never had any room in our house look like this. My mother would never allow it. His space feels lived in, almost as though it is saying “welcome! Don’t be afraid to unwind.” If I lay on the bed I stare directly at a fan hanging from his tall angled ceilings. It brings cool air to my face, relieving me from the heat outside. One lone window can be found above the bed. In the evening light shines in illuminating all the small trinkets and intricate wood. Looking out all I see are tall pines, they are clumped together and provide homes for various birds that can be heard all day in this small space. When I am over this, I will always remember his space and how it made me feel like I was being hugged. This is not my home, but sometimes I pretend for just a moment it is.

    1. Kelsey

      I love the details! I like how you took a small space, such as a bedroom and brought it to life and made it feel like a home. There was a sense of home, but also a feeling of sadness like there used to be a lot of love there, and maybe there isn’t anymore. I like how you also described the way the room made you feel and how it will always feel that way to you.

    2. Courtney Kisner

      I really loved your descriptions. I could feel myself there, and even imagine the way it all smells. I loved how at the end you say, “when I am over this,” as if you are pre-nostalgic. I feel like that a lot about places–I imagine how in the future I will look back and try to remember certain features. Great read!

    3. Jess Young

      I love your description of the room! Your imagery was remarkable and made me feel like I was in my Grandpa’s study.

  2. Kelsey

    When you see this small town, the first thing you might think of is how peaceful it looks. There are green trees everywhere, planted down the main street in front of all the buildings. Perfectly spaced light posts at every corner. Each building is differently shaped, made of different materials. Some are brick and quaint, others are newer and more modern. The bars are a little run down looking and stereotypical. At the end of the main street is park, in the shape of a circle, possibly meant to be the city center, although the main street strip feels more of the center. The park is small with, with newer playground equipment and wood chips underneath the swings. The houses are all different shapes and sizes, but most are moderate and comfortable looking. The people all look friendly, and most smile at you, but something sinister is in the way they won’t really make eye contact, as if they’re hiding something or don’t really believe you will ever fit in there.

    It smells of trains, cow manure, and dust. There are railroad tracks that run through the middle of town, cutting it in half. The tracks are used several times a day for freight trains and Amtrak going to and from Chicago. It is a farming community with three giant grain elevators two blocks behind Main street, so the smell of manure and corn fill the air all summer and through the fall. The corn gets crushed and creates a fine dust in the air and covering the ground. If you ride your bike by them you’ll get a mouthful of what feels like dirt and the smell will stick to you all day. It’s not a strong odor, just enough that you know it’s there and you know it’s summer.

    It sounds like train whistles, bus engines, and cheers from the crowds. The train doesn’t blow its whistle in town, but blows it right outside to let us know it’s coming. It sounds like summer, although I’m not sure why, because the trains come all year long. It’s a small town, with its own high school, so the town’s livelihood is high school sports. The school buses transport kids in and out of town, to other tiny towns, all year long for the football, baseball, volleyball, softball, and basketball games. When they win, they get an escort back into town, down main street, with the cop’s and firetruck sirens. The town is small, and through the school year you can hear the bell ringing every 45 minutes to signal the start of the next class through half the town, probably a 4 block radius in every direction of the school.

    It feels like home, but also a place that you’re not entirely welcome. It feels like you are always being stared at, but a place that you’re accepted as long as you’ve lived there your whole life. It feels like a place that no matter what your life turns out to be, you’ll be accepted, but judged, for who you are. You’ll always be one of them, a Minuteman for life.

    1. Lilia Lundquist

      This was very well organized, I also liked the language you used to really bring the image to life. It almost sounds like it was written in a nostalgic sense.

    2. Tometria Jackson

      I like your description of this little town. It kind of reminds me of an X-files episode where all seems normal–too normal, and then something horrible happens. I love the foreshadowing when you wrote that the people smile at you, but they won’t make eye contact as though they’re hiding something. That one sentence makes me want to stick around to see how it ends. You have great potential for your story!

      1. nmfleming

        The description of this small town is amazing, I definitely felt that I was standing in the middle of that town. The first paragraph reminds me a lot of A Wrinkle in Time when they come into the town. “The people all look friendly, and most smile at you, but something sinister is in the way they won’t really make eye contact as if they’re hiding something or don’t really believe you will ever fit in there.” This line is what reminds of the kids bouncing the rubber balls in sync not saying anything, but it was a wonderful setting.

    3. Benjamin Hayward

      The ending caught me by surprise. Reading, I was thinking why are there so many confliction ideas and emotions. This ending was pleasant, and tied everything up into a nice bow.

    4. Brenden Couch

      I don’t mean to be crude but having lived in 2 different kinds of small towns, but if you break wind in the grocery store you get home and your whole family knows it can be a little terrible. I grew up in Soldotna Alaska a town with maybe 10,000 but my family was a well known one and had been there since the population was about 15 people including the family dogs. Then I was sent to a place for misbehaving boys in a town of 400, and I know the small town woes from that and what I don’t know i can speculate.

  3. Tometria Jackson

    Twelve miles from the Canadian border sits the small city of Eagle Alaska, nestled in a valley pitted with small lakes and bordered on three sides by mountains. It opens out onto the broad expanse of the Yukon River; a large, silt colored ribbon that transects Alaska, and is the life’s blood of every community scattered along it. Winter has set in, bringing sub-arctic temperatures and covering everything in a deep blanket of snow.

    Five miles out of town, over a hill and down a well-traveled trail that snakes through the dense forest is a lonely cabin that reflects its owner. Built in 1875, fourteen years before the Klondike Gold Rush flooded the state with hopeful prospectors, James Donovan and his partner erected a temporary shelter that eventually required more additions and shoring up as their time in the area stretched into years. The weathered cabin was now a hodge-podge of logs and boards at various stages of wear. There were traps, harnesses, snowshoes, buckets, tubs, prospecting equipment, and various other necessities hanging on nails on the outside of the cabin’s walls.

    The interior was no less crowded. One small window admitted very little light at the height of summer, and was totally useless for that purpose in the winter. The dim interior of the cabin smelled of wood smoke from the black wood stove on the back wall which was in constant use during the cold months of the year. There were other smells too: the moose stew simmering at the back of the stove, the bear grease used to lubricate the traps, the mustiness of clothing that hadn’t fully dried out, Trigger, Donovan’s favorite sled dog that was too old for the traces and now made his home on an old blanked beside Will’s bed, and a kerosene lamp that burned in the lone window.

    Outside and a little way down another trail, the late afternoon silence was broken by the rhythmic sound of an ax splitting wood. Thirteen-year-old Will had developed a tempo that kept him on pace for finishing the small pile of logs before Donovan returned from the trading post. The whack of the ax was quickly followed by the sharp crack of wood splitting and then a dull thud as the split pieces joined the growing pile around his feet in the trampled snow.

    The sky was dark except for a lower edge of dusky-pink, which was the remaining vestige of the winter sun’s fading rays. Will could feel the temperature dropping and the cold, dry air bit as it was inhaled and then curled around Will’s face in a vaporous cloud with his exertion. The twenty below temperature was typical for this time of year in Eagle, and the chore of chopping wood warmed every part of Will’s body except for his fingers and toes, which were painfully cold.

    He swiped an impatient sleeve across his runny nose, and then stepped back to survey his pile. He was satisfied with the afternoon’s effort, and loaded his make-shift sled for the trek back home. His patched boots crunched in the snow as he headed down the path he had made earlier in the season. The trees loomed dark around him, and he could hear the not too far away howl of a wolf. Will quickened his pace, and was relieved to see the rosy glow of the lantern in the cabin window.

  4. nmfleming

    The once white fluffy unicorn shaped cloud was being trampled by a big, black, evil cloud. The nice warmth of the bright, yellow sun was now covered by this monster. This dark horror caused the lazy, red and black ladybug to fly home. The beautiful songs from the black chickadee have stopped. The furry red squirrel who was sitting in a patch of grass, can now be found hiding away in the hole in the side of a tall, dark pine tree. The once subtle breeze has now become violent, shaking the trees back and forth, creating goosebumps to flood your entire body. The sound of thunder could be heard in the distance, streaks of lightening light up the whole sky. The rain starts out slow, hitting your arm a few times. Faster and faster, harder and harder the rain fell, leaving you feeling icy. Icy like Alaska is February. The idea of running through this rain sounds like a horrible idea, but it is the only option. You start running in the direction of a rectangle, lilac purple shield with the tangerine roof. It feels like someone is throwing small pebbles at you while you run, but after awhile you forget about the horrible pain because your body no longer feels icy cold, it feels warm. Warm like the summers in Arizona.

    1. Kait

      You’re description is very elaborate. Your description of the nice day turning into a storm really pulled me in and what it would feel like being in the storm. The description of the wildlife being effected is a really nice touch. That is exactly what it would be like running through a storm like that, the strength and feels, I really liked the contrast of the cold of the small pebbles and then being so numb it feels warm. Reading that half made me wonder why is this person running? Where are they running? Nice job!

  5. Courtney Kisner

    The subway station was worn down, yellow, dimly lit, and deserted. There were fliers skimming the ground, one’s who got too tired to stay hanging on the tiled station walls. Or maybe someone leaned against it too hard while waiting. The air is damp, heavy, and saturated with a faint gasoline smell that will probably never go away. People begin to trickle in, people coughing a wet cough into jacket sleeves. The coughs echo, and hairs on your arms raise. This isn’t the main part of the story, no, this is a hub, one that people travel day in and day out, but becomes that part of your life you can’t avoid. Some people, as they trickle in, stand a little bit close to the tracks, you worry for a second…but then your mind drifts back to stress at work, calls you still need to make that you’ve been putting off. You look up again, and there’s a whole new flock of people hovering, pretending to occupy themselves on their phones.

    The small station gets smaller as people pack in, and soon it’s time to board the train. You smell stale perfume hanging in the air mixed with a smell that reminds you of an airplane. There’s a few tired faces staring out, ones who have already staked their claim on a seat. The lights in the train aren’t forgiving–they highlight every shadow they can find. The wet cough follows you, and it makes you think of the billions of germs on those hard plastic bench seats. The ground glistens with dirty water tracked in from tired shoes. It’s 15 minutes from that station to the station you have to get off. Everyone looks as if they are busy, but really they seem to just want to avoid eye contact. At your stop, the station looks almost identical, and you fast-walk up the stairs, which are wet like the rest of the place. It’s raining in New York City, so the already filthy city looks even more diseased and contagious.

    The gray sidewalks on the way back to the apartment are filled with people, with litter, with lives lived. The walk home seems faster when you’re running from the rain. The apartment itself is below a shop, tucked away, you would never know it was there. All of the rain had created a 4-inch-deep puddle right at the bottom of the steps. Somehow those thin walls blocked out much of the noise from the street. Inside is tranquil, but bare. Only one small table, hardly big enough for a small laptop and a coffee. A small kennel sat in the corner, still housing the smell of a past pet. The concrete floor is practically ice cold; slippers are necessary if you feel like stepping into the dungeon-like escape. But although it’s not aesthetic, it’s still an escape. The silence bounces between the white walls. Walls that are bare without a piece of art in sight. Everything is in savings in a patched up hole in the wall.

    1. Angela Rodriguez

      I really love the descriptive language you used for your scene. I specifically enjoyed reading about the coughing on the subway. Coughing always makes me cringe and want to rush to some handsanitizer, so I could relate to the hair rising on the arms. I really hope that we get to hear more of this story

    2. Shana Waring

      As a germophobe, I appreciate your description of the wet cough and its progression through the mind to tangible objects. I think a full story could really play further into this topic as a bit of a side story. Your descriptions of what people witness in the subway station are spot on. I was easily directed to places I’ve seen in person or on tv. I would recommend focusing a bit more on the feeling. Maybe more description of the fluttering stomachs with the anxiety of people standing too close to the tracks. Also, there were a couple opportunities to touch of taste with coffee or even expanding with the stale air in the subway station. You really have some great writing here though!

  6. Benjamin Hayward

    1. This is a location in a pocket dimension where the main characters observe the story as 3rd person, and interact in first person.
    2. In my mind’s eye it looks kind of like 1960’s TV of heaven or a place where the Greek Gods would hang out on Mount Olympus. Clouds for ground, but pink and firm, with a gray mist gently covering the feet and wafting over the ground in a slight breeze. The center piece is called the Ocular Orb. It looks like an old globe under a half sphere glass dome. This globe allows the prime character to view the Milky Way Galaxy at any point in space and time and directly observe events with a gold like view, or in the first person with a transition.
    3. Taste and smell do not have an important part in the pocket dimension. Sounds have just voices from the principle characters with no echo of sound and the functions of the Ocular Orb being manipulated with sounds of heavy sliding glass and the light clicking of metal rings like a bezel of a watch.
    4. This pocket dimension is one of contemplation and study with a sense of anticipated challenges to come.


    We have Father and Son gathered around a device called Ocular Orb. When we look upon Father we see someone of wisdom. White flowing hair and beard wearing a simple tunic tied with a golden cord tied in a hitch knot around the waist. His face is aged with smile lines, laugh wrinkles at the corner of his eyes. His eyes have seen much, always seeming to look beyond what is in front of him. This brooding mood contrasts with his jovial personality and instinct to teach his son.

    The Son is sitting at the base of the Ocular Orb, lying on his hip with his legs bent and ankles crossed. He looks up towards Father in expectation of the lesson for today. Like Father, Son is also dressed in the same fashion as Father. From his shins below he is covered by the swirling mist. The Son observes Father with a background of neutral diffused light. Not bright white or dull gray, but the light source cannot be pinpointed. The light is for seeing, nothing more.

    Looking around this central piece and into the distance, there is nothing but the floor running as far as the eye can see and imagine. This is no ordinary place. This is the Dimension of Solitude. Father created this place to escape from the Great Game. Each of the players in the Great Game have a Dimension of Solitude, private unto themselves, allowing them to meditate and plan in peace for their next action. They may leave their dimension at any time to interact and socialize with the other players. The players are known among each other as the Ascendants.

    The Ascendants are created when a species has self-evolved through consciousness to a higher plane of existence. Each galaxy is overseen by an Ascendant that rose from within that galaxy, and there is only one race at a time to fills this role. These Ascendants created the Great Game to channel their energies in to something constructive, less they destroy reality in a bid for conquest. The current Ascendants of the Milky Way is Father and Son, human, from Pax-Gaia, now known as Earth.

  7. Angela Rodriguez

    This old house gloomed on the corner of the street. It was the kind of home that the children in the neighborhood would walk a little faster by and stare a little longer at. It was spooky in some kind of horror movie way. The grass was overgrown and some of the windows were shattered as if no one lived there. Rumor has it, that a man lives there, but won’t come out for anyone to see. Everyone in the neighborhood took welcome to him when he arrived at the house a few years ago. He would talk about how his wife would be coming to stay in a few days, yet she never seemed to arrive, and he never left. Some say that when they walk by, they see his shadows lurk past a window or sitting in a chair in the corner of a room. From my bedroom, I can sometimes watch the paint peel off the window panes and I can always hear the creaking screams coming from the floorboards yet, I have never seen or heard this man. Sometimes, I sit and just stare at the house. I take in everything and just watch, it’s like an accident that I can’t take my eyes off of. Usually, nothing happens when I watch, the whole world just freezes as I stare at the rusted home, but today, I think I saw him. It was just a glance, it could have a gust of wind against his curtains, but I just had to investigate. I cautiously walked across the street. I didn’t know what I would say or do when I knocked on the door of the home, I just had to go. My curiosity led me to his door and I didn’t even remember how I got there. I slowly knocked on the door, feeling the tattered wood splinter my knuckles. Nothing. Not a sound from inside, and for the first time, I didn’t even hear a creak from the old wood that held the home together. Again, I knocked. This time, I was able to hear my knock echo through the home. After a few seconds of silence, the door creaked open. The smell of dust welcomed me inside of the inhabitable home. I slowly entered, and to my surprise, the door slowly crept to a close behind me. The furniture was ghostly, covered in white sheets and a thick layer of dust. The house looked dirty, yet untouched. I was starting to believe that the man everyone claims to live hear was just a tale made to scare the neighborhood children, yet I still felt compelled to shout “hello” throughout the home. I received no answer and proceed to check out the house. As I walked into a bedroom, I felt a cold presence around me. The ice-cold room was almost humid, the cold hung over me like a blanket, making it harder to breathe. Out of fear I quickly exited the room, slamming the door behind me. This is when I heard the loud grown of an old man from upstairs. His footsteps were fast, and he sounded angry. I sprinted out of the house and never looked back.

  8. Jess Young

    The mountains loomed over the town like a schoolmaster leering over his students. They were beginning to show the changing of the seasons, with the gray and green slowly turning to brown and orange and the slightest dusting of white sneaking down the peaks. A few days earlier, we had smelled it — the first signs of fall. There was an imperceptible change in the environment that you wouldn’t realize unless you had lived here your whole life. It smelled damp; the cranberries had begun to ripen and add a bitterness to the air, and you could almost hear the leaves crisping and preparing to be crunched underfoot. Around us, fellow Alaskans were soaking up every last moment of sunshine and warm weather that they could. The knowledge that the winter would be frigid and gloomy was reinforced by the autumn sun which was comfortably warm in its rays, but caused a shiver to sneak up the spine in the shade.

    As I remember it, he was sitting hunched over at a picnic table; his dark brown hair flopping into his face as he pored over a piece of paper. A pencil was poised in his graphite-stained hands, as though he were a swordsman preparing to strike. He looked up, and just for a moment caught my eye before shyly turning back to his work. The bright green flecks in his otherwise auburn eyes caught the sun and piqued my curiosity. He was always so quiet, perhaps it was because of that occasional stutter when he got excited about something.

    It was a spur of the moment thing — I walked over and sat across from him. The table was scarred with forgotten teenage sentiments etched into its flesh which I traced with my fingers. As I blocked the view of his artistic muse, I flashed him my best smirk and asked him what he was sketching. He paused, looked me in the eye and pointed behind me at an aged and twisted birch. I looked at the tree and felt warmth, the bark was peeling off like tissue paper and the leaves were beginning to turn to gold. The sun pierced through the leaves lighting the earth beneath. As I turned to compare his depiction to what I saw in front of me, I was taken aback. He had drawn something straight out of a horror film with shadows falling where sun now shown and the golden leaves shaded in gray and black. The twisted limbs looked like they would reach off the page and drag you into that shadow world. I should have known then that our starkly contrasting views of the world would not make for a happy ending.

  9. Delaney E Reece

    The air on the morning Is still crisp this time of year, but not so cold that the green leaves on the cherry blossom trees wilt. On the early morning just as the sun is about to rise the gray tones at the city are illuminated and quiet. Soon there will be men in suits with hats tipped over their faces and briefcases clutched in their hands pushing past one another on their way to work. But for now, only the occasional buggy rolls past and occupied windows maintained drawn curtains.
    As the morning air warms with the Sun the smell of do evaporating from the grass is notable. early morning songbirds finish their tunes, and I replaced by the clicking of heels and the jostling rumble produced by vehicles. Ever so slowly the sweet smell of grass and warm trees will be replaced by the scent of business as work begins. Exhaust from the buggies will plume as countless drive past, and smoke will billow onto the streets from factories and plants.
    The real bustle only lasts 3 hours, and in the early afternoon there is once again a sense of quiet. those without employment take to the streets. Lovely young women an embroidered dresses walk together from shop to shop, their laughter being audible even with buggies passing close by. Different men walk the streets now, in fine clothing headed perhaps to a meeting with those like them but not to work. Most certainly not to work, there lilac linen suits are far too precious for any sort of work. Unlike the ladies, these men do not laugh, not even in each other’s company. They speak in low tones, nearly to the point of a whisper; and one could only they they spoke based on the movement of their mouths.
    These people to will retire in the later afternoon, and sometime between 4 and 6 the streets will be mayhem again. This will last longer this time, as at this time of day all walks of people are out on display. As in the evenings by the light of the lamps along this busy road there is far more to see.
    The natural sounds of evening are drowned out buy jazz music, which bounces down the street. Either pouring out of buggies, out-of-doors, or seeping through the walls of the establishments nearby. Very occasionally the park will be frequented at this time, a couple on a quiet walk their voices like the secretive men because they too have secrets. As folks make their way home, or two wherever they will sleep that night the smell of exhaust and ash fades. It will soon be replaced once again by the crispness of cold air in the stillness of the late night. In this cool sweet silence there will be a few still on the streets in the very early morning. They will try to stumble out of the way before that ever busy cycle starts again watching as the glow of the sun can be seen on the horizon making the songbirds once more.

  10. Shana Waring

    The sky is a more peaceful blue here. When your eyes look up, it’s as if the blue is actually clear. You can see straight through to something even richer. The occasional white clouds add to the tranquility. They resemble that fabric on the chair in the living room. The one that instantly engulfs your fingers and makes you feel like you have sat on a teddy bear just brought home from the store. There’s something about the neutral appearance from this dirt road in the mountains that always brings peace. The body simply relaxes; the beat of the heart is more fluid. The ting of the anxiety of the to-do list left back in the real world flew out the window on the first bump the tires rolled over after leaving the dark, hot pavement of the road so many more travel.

    The most important piece of a mountain escape, to really clear the mind, is not the smell of the fresh afternoon rain, nor the sweet aroma of the pine tree. The sound of the light crunch under the soles of your shoes it what really does it. The motion of each step. One foot lifting up while the other transfers from a slightly unleveled ground. The rocks, sand, dirt, and sticks each provide their own unique texture. Sometimes there’s a slight sting of pain under your toes, right in the indent where the balls of your feet stand to take the brunt of the weight. The rocks and sticks under each sole of your shoe never fail to surprise. They offer the mystery of never know if they will be felt or simply blend into the road around them.

    As you reach the squeaky wooden step of the cabin at the edge of the river, the feeling of warmth hits you. It’s not that dreaded heat which leaves you reaching for the nearest iced drink or the dial on the ac in your car. It’s the simple feeling of happiness. Your skin welcomes the soft touch of color and the comfort of the slow breeze falling from the treetops. The open porch offers the air to surround you while providing that small bit of privacy. The multicolor hammock slowly moves as it calls to your feet which have now decided a rest would do you well. You grasp the fabric with your fingertips offering just enough support to somehow allow you a graceful collapse into the cocoon tied to posts of either side of the porch. You remember finding your entrance into a much needed afternoon nap is your biggest worry today.

  11. Kait

    One basin of water with hills on both sides, full of green willows, jumping fish early in the morning, the smell of the greens and the tundra after it rains. The smell of fish drying on the fish rack, the briny smell of the water dripping off of them, the clump of tall trees hiding a little river of fresh water, Mom and Dad’s old cabin’s not too far from the water, tufts of a forgotten tent buried in the sand, the sound of the wind and the cry of a hawk that has a nest at the peak of the hill next to the cabin’s. The stepping stones my brother & I would hop when we were in diapers, which led to the cabin. The old rusted boat next to one of the cabins which we used to climb up to get on the thin wood roof. The sound of a motor with the sight of silhouettes of waving hands, the smell of the outhouse if you walk too far down the beach, kids in and out of the water puffed with life vests, parents with hair full of smoke cooking around the fire, dogs running around, sniffing here and there free of their chains, the pop of a seal’s head and curious eyes, stopping by the net for a bite to eat, coffee early in the morning, the heat of the sun on lazy bees flying by, hiking the steep, tundra filled hillside to reach the top with a view full of two steep hills full of green with a snake of blue-green water down the middle, feeling on top of the world on top of that rocky escape. On your way down, you’d pass the deep hole on the side of the hillside that runs two different ways, thats rumored to be the home of the myth of the little people. This is the Imuruk Basin.

  12. Brenden Couch

    As a general piece of information my stories focus strongly on the same things that Dant’e Alligheri focused on in his Divine Comedy. In short this is a place that may not exist, a place that when I find out about this place I will no longer be near paper or pen. Oh yes, I like the Ancient Egyptians have some what of a morbid curiosity and obsession with the life after this and what different textual accounts imply about the experience. As well as thinking to myself in silent musings what might be an enjoyable way to exist forever. The feeling would be different to each reader, some may feel loneliness or sadness it may enthrall others. As a conclusion to this statement, I feel obligated to add that through suffering humans find growth. We as people in life must taste the bitter that we know to prize the good. Can you imagine only spending maybe 90 years on earth and then an eternity in paradise, you would forget the good, a million years unmarred by any challenges or discomfort of any kind seem very lonely to me. I don’t think you’d remember the 90 years or even who you were without some element of purpose, suffering, and personal growth throughout the ageless void that is eternity.

    In one of many versions of my story, it follows an old man who is written sort of as myself and his journey, much like Dante’s, out of mortality. Having lived a full life, having achieved much he is received by the hosts of heaven. As we all know, there is debate even among christian religions as what this is like or how a particular god will receive us in the end, in some religions and philosophies this isn’t even the end of the plot or in fact a part of it, but I like to write from many different scenarios. Other scenarios come from the perspective that children grow up to be like their parents so their are stories with anthropomorphic animals as the gods themselves, the story of their creation as many native Americans believe but these stories are actually pretty decent and packed adventures and situations created by these fake gods that mirror lessons and situations that you may see in your life.

    Part of the vision of the afterlife is unique and other times there is a river of time that runs through all known universes, swirling and encircling binding each universe itself to death, because all tangible things must fade, the planets, the rocks, the mountains, the people, only the spirit is eternal in these stories. Time is decay, but in my stories heaven is the only place where time doesn’t and in fact cannot permeate. If I say anymore it will really spoil the mystery of what my story says .

    1. Keyana Marshall

      It looks like even though the setting isn’t physical or constant that it doesn’t exist. describing the era and cultural situation is plenty to create the setting in the mind of most imaginative readers. This is a great description to set you up for the reading, Kind of like a prologue.

  13. Brenden Couch

    The encircling clouds of light parted as he stepped through like a smokey haze twisting and twirling in the firmament. All before him and all behind him was alien. Nothing was in the least familiar or friendly. The emptiness stretched for what had to be, forever, the last thing he remembered… no way, he couldn’t be, this place couldn’t exist, is this Heaven? Just then he arrived at what was a terribly bright light, the smoky clouds dissipated and all the colors he’d ever seen danced around, including some that he’d never seen in his life, everything moved in such a way that it seemed it was all in an excited state. Yet there were no smells, but instead a sensation, similar to a waterfall going over his head and then he began to understand, to understand everything he’d ever seen or done, finally the sensation of the water began to lessen and then as if a plastic film had been removed from his mind, the vision before him changed and he saw.

    this was meant to be included in the last section

  14. Keyana Marshall

    I want my setting to be based from September 11-2001 to nearly now. However I am in the chapter development phase. so for chapter 1 we will have a brief preview of my childhood up to junior high age as the main setting.
    the cruddy neighborhood-
    There was a drug dealing ice cream man truck. We lived behind the police station with my young mother and my drug dealing father. I lived in Mountain view in Anchorage,Alaska. In a poor alcoholic and drug ridden side of town, paper food stamps were a currency worth 50% of the normal US dollar. My parents bought a lot of things that ‘fell off the truck’, from clothing to groceries. We had a mentally insane guy host a stabbing at our school where he sliced the throats of 2 children ( they survived) and he was beat up by 2 sixth graders. Foreign people arrived and didn’t understand the concept of statutory rape and 20 year old guys would date 14 yr old girls. Small shops with delicious food during the day would turn into shifty gambling spots at night.

    tween rebellion- My home environment was extremely strict. My father went to prison when I was 11. The stress of emotional incest (nonsexual). I had friends who’s parents were alcoholics or just simply trusting permissive types, so I spent as much time in those environments to get out of what I felt was imprisoning me at home. Hiding secrets, skipping school and hanging in a crappy neighborhood. I ran away at age 12 and then again at 14.40 ounce beers, arbor mist, harsh punishments, unfair responsibilities, Lee pipes jeans, Soda/Candies shoes and 9/11/01. I want to have the person get as close to feeling the way I did when I was grounded and on punishment. These things may not relate to everyone but I would like the time period to be shown from the types of past current events,music and clothing I was into.

    I want them to know a short background on the setting that lasted the longest, and that was the years spent living with my family so they can get a clear Idea of exactly what was going on in my life when my story began. This setting is the most important because it will take my reader further into a story that takes a fateful turn. The change isn’t without warning. I want to give a short page on my life from birth to about 11 years old. I would like to emphasize on the family, school, neighborhood, and personal mindset during that time period.

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