Presumably your characters don’t live in a vacuum. If they did, that would probably be a very short story. Alexander Gordon Smith, the author of The Escape from Furnace Series, is helping us create great settings for our characters in this horror tutorial. This should help train you to smell and taste wherever you go in order to keep your imagination vivid. What we’re saying is: we expect some wall licking.
Creating a world for your characters is almost as important as creating the characters themselves. They have to have somewhere to live!
Readers don’t just want to see a location in their heads, they want to smell it, touch it, taste it – to feel like they are actually there. The best way to create a realistic location is to use all five senses to describe it. This way you’ll build a world with real atmosphere – a place that actually exists.
Start by thinking about a location for part of your story. This can be somewhere familiar, like your bedroom or your school, or it can be somewhere strange and scary, like a graveyard or a battlefield or a haunted house. Decide what kind of atmosphere you want it to have, then explore it as if you were actually visiting it for the first time.
Location: Begin by thinking about what it looks like. You can draw pictures or make a map if this helps.
Next, think about what it sounds like. Can you hear the wind screaming? Is there traffic in the distance? Are there voices? A ticking clock? Scratching noises from beneath the bed?
Write down some of the things you can hear:
Now think about the smells. Something cooking? Something rotting? Gunpowder? Blood?
Write down what you can smell:
How about touch? What is the temperature like? How does the ground feel beneath your feet? Are the walls damp or bloodstained? What does the rain feel like against your face?
Hopefully by now you’ll feel as if you have really visited your location, and your readers will too!