Writing 101; Day Two: A Room with a View (Or Just a View)
Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the back story. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?
Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.
Giving your readers a clear sense of the space where your story unfolds will help them plunge deeper into your writing. Whether it’s a room, a house, a town, or something entirely different (a cave? a spaceship?), provide concrete details to set this place apart — and to create a more immerse-ive reading experience.
Reaching the stars. In a space suit. With unlimited oxygen supply since this is going to take awhile. Or, maybe not if I could do this in the blink of an eye. Maybe in a dream, so time and space wouldn’t be relevant.
Heaven is another place I wouldn’t mind being transported to – alive, though, and again, in the blink of an eye or while in a dream-like state of being.
I once wrote a story about a man who loved a woman enough to want to spend the rest of his life with her. The backdrop was Hong Kong. Sunlight, skyscrapers, warm air, heavy traffic, and thick with pedestrians. The scents of street foods, restaurants, and open markets fused with perfume, sweat, and exhaust fumes.
He’s just quit his job as a mercenary and has the black eye and a fat lip to prove it. It doesn’t matter to him that his boss hadn’t anticipated nor wanted him to quit, but he knew the reaction would be as it turned out. Even the beating and the disappointment on the faces of his comrades isn’t enough to deter him or make him change his mind.
While in the back seat of a taxi, which I guess I could describe as being dark and unpleasant smelling, or even gaudy with various, tacky decorations adorning it, or just a plain, old black interior of a yellow cab. Regardless, he is in the back seat, and he is smiling; glad to be ending one way of life and anxious to start anew with her.
It doesn’t matter to his mind that these pedestrians are jamming crosswalks, making it a bit harder for him to reach his destination: the airport. He isn’t cognizant of his bustling, big-city surroundings and can only entertain one thought: her.
The unexpected occurs when a wayward dump truck blows through a red light at an intersection, plowing into the side of the taxi. He feels the impact, but within seconds, peace takes over. I have him first hearing distant voices that slowly fade from screams of panic to gentle, beckoning words of encouragement. His mother’s voice; a voice he hasn’t heard since childhood, before she died, leaving him an orphan. The memory is strong enough for him to open his eyes and want to seek her out.
Whiteness is all around, though. Absolutely nothing, which startles him, making him sit up at attention and glance about in fear. Another voice fills his ears. Unfamiliar, deep, and authoritative. The voice commands him to listen, and he does. The words aren’t important, but the slowly transforming imagery is. The whiteness becomes a verdant area somewhere in the foothills. Trees, shrubs, grassland, a running stream, distant mountains, and a tiny, thatch-roof cottage. His childhood home.
The bark of a dog, a golden retriever with its tail wagging and tongue out, trotting along a thin, dirt path and away from the cottage. He remembers the dog and the dogs name, smiling. The authoritative voice still rumbles in his ears, but he concentrates on the scene that unfolds, gasping in shock to suddenly see his mother at the door of that cottage. She is smiling at him, beckoning him to her with arms open wide and tears in her eyes.
As he breathes the word ‘mother’, he rises from what once was a hard surface to stand in that verdant field of cool, tall grass. His hesitant steps slowly increase, and as he moves forward, his line of vision starts to shrink until he’s nearly as tall at the grass surrounding him. He has reverted back to age seven; the age of his mother’s death.
I’m not very good at this, I know. Being intimidated by these prompts makes it difficult to write normally, and with ease. Instead of just writing, I’m thinking about writing the way I’m supposed to do, or the way that someone expects me to do. I think it shows. Also, if I’ve never been where I want to be, I can only imagine what it might be like and cannot be as descriptive or precise as the examples given for today’s prompt. LOL – too many excuses and not enough time to get it right.