I think this was one of the most difficult assignments for me. I absolutely hate descriptions. And, that is reflected in my inability to describe them effectively. I just wish I could send a “picture” of the place and forget about having to use words to paint the picture in the mind of the reader. And, it isn’t even like painting a picture.
It is more like peeling an onion. What details about the setting do we reveal and when? Which details are absolutely necessary? Which ones just slow down the pace of the story to the point the reader gets bored? Settings are definitely not something to write about on the fly, especially if you are going to return to them later.
So, I think it is important to write out a complete description in advance and file it away with the important information kept on each character so you can refer to it later on. In any event, here is my assignment such as it is.
I learned a lot but learned I have a lot to learn. And, I really do dislike writing about settings.
Lori arrives at The Blue Note to meet Stan.
The Blue Note was a night spot located in the Wicker Park area of Chicago frequented by young professionals who lived nearby.
The neon lights of the large sign that hung above the entrance cast an eerie blue glow on the sidewalk in front where the windows had been covered in thick blue paint to prevent the public passing by from peering within.
Lori pulled her coat about her to ward off the October chill as she headed for the large black leather door that marked the entry. The tall, heavy set, man who stood outside stepped aside to open the door for Lori.
"Good evening, Lori", he said.. "Stan is not here. But, his table at the back has been saved for you."
As she entered the dining area filled with small, time weathered, tables, Lori felt a bit overwhelmed by the din of the crowd. Many people were still eating dinner. But, many had finished and frequently looked over to the stage where the Desperate Mood band was beginning to set up
As Lori headed to Stan's table, she spied John serving drinks at the bar. John acknowledged her arrival with a friendly nod. Lori smiled in return and continued to weave through the crowded tables to reach Stan's hangout.