Igniting The Fictional Dream: Setting And The Senses

Ryan Matthews, Writer & Editor

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13 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:59
    • 2. Writing A New World

      0:42
    • 3. Writing At Will And On Command

      1:33
    • 4. Importance Of Place

      1:26
    • 5. Reading - Borderland By M.F.K. Fisher

      1:14
    • 6. Picking A Time, Place, And Milieu

      3:09
    • 7. The Fictional Dream

      1:23
    • 8. Reading - A Distant Episode By Paul Bowles

      2:42
    • 9. Igniting The Fictional Dream

      1:36
    • 10. Writing Your Setting

      0:38
    • 11. Reading - Under The Volcano By Malcolm Lowry

      1:35
    • 12. Revising Your Draft

      0:40
    • 13. Final Thoughts On Setting

      0:44

Project Description

Writing a New World

You finally have a few minutes to yourself. You’re on the couch having just cracked open the novel you’ve been dying to read. And, just a few lines in…you’re in another world.

Your assignment is to transport a reader fully and convincingly to a place you’ve never been before!

First—imagine a place and time you’ve always been curious about.

Second—think of entering this place in a way that engages the senses one at a time, from far to near: first sight, then hearing, smell, touch, and taste. Think about your descriptions as a camera and this is your master shot. Think about:

Third—write a two page draft of this scene (about 500 words), introducing us to the place; take us somewhere we’ve never been, as it’s never been described before.

Deliverables:

Upload your working scene to the project gallery for feedback. You're encouraged to use the space as a true laboratory, and update for the final draft. Consider sharing:

  1. Pictures or drawings of your place
  2. Lists of specific sense details
  3. Labeled final draft that has cut the number of words from your first draft in half

Resources:

  • “Borderland” from Serve It Forth by M.F.K. Fisher
  • “A Distant Episode”  from A Distant Episode by Paul Bowles
  • Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
  • Writing Fiction by John Gardner
  • GeoGuesser.com

Student Projects

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Kim Smyth
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