Summer Reading Club
space craft special edition 2017

SETTING THE SCENE

Posted on: December 10th, 2017 by michael -

 

Hi everyone – thanks for stopping by. In this week’s blog, I’ll be chatting about setting a scene for your story. It’s really magical if you can set a scene that takes your reader off into another world and makes them wonder and imagine. If you’re a good writer, you’ll take your reader away from their chair, or couch or bed (or wherever their fav spot is to read!) and into the amazing world inside your story.

The first moment I really felt like I wanted to write was when I was sitting in an old commentary box at a football ground in Melbourne. The wind was howling and making that spooky, creepy noise when it goes through power lines and the whole box was kind of shaking. I sat huddled and cold and getting a bit wet from a drizzly rain and had all these amazing ideas flash through me about a little boy who goes back in time to a famous football match… a game where his dad was watching… as a kid!!

I think that old rickety thing has gone now, but it would have been just to the right and out of shot (I think!!) on this really old photo of the Collingwood Footy ground… aren’t old photos cool? I reckon we could write a story just from looking at this old photo…

I hope you don’t mind that a lot of my blogs will be a bit sporty related… BUT… I have written some spooky, creepy stories too. For the Vanishings, I actually went to an old railway station which has been turned into a house. The owners were REALLY nice and let me wonder around the place and take notes and get a feel for the place. I LOVE trains and I spent a bit of time on the platform, listening for that familiar tingle in the railway tracks that meant a train was coming.. even though you couldn’t see it yet. Here’s what the cover looks like. It’s a bit creepy…So, think about your setting; go spend some time there and take some notes. The more you know your setting, the better you’ll describe it and the more your readers will love being in it!!

Okay – so it’s your turn. Can you write a paragraph describing an amazing scene or setting? It might be sporty, it might be scary, it might be super close or very far away. But give it some atmosphere and make it so interesting that we want to go there….

I’ll be waiting to read them!

 

36 Responses

  1. Madi says:

    Hi Michael
    Performing up On stage. You get all excited and scared at the same time it is a great setting! If it is your first time you feel really nervous but as soon as you start those nerves die away. Or being in the audience you get to watch a great show!
    From Madi

    • michael says:

      Hey Madi, ooh yes, what a great idea. You’re so right about the nerves and energy that would be about… It’s a great setting for some a super story to be written. I’m even thinking a story within a story if you get what I mean!!

      • Madi says:

        Yeah actually that just gave me a great idea for a story! but before I tell you I will have to think it through. Who do you look up to? Are you working on any new books?
        From Madi

        • Madi says:

          What is your favourite big bash team? Mine is Hobart hurricanes!

          • michael says:

            The Hobart Hurricanes are my 3rd fav team (my brother lives in Hobart and I LOVE the purple colour of their uniform) – my favourite team is the Melb Renegades and 2nd is the Stars!! πŸ™‚

        • michael says:

          Hey Madi, well, Roald Dahl is a total legend for me when it comes to writing for children, so I guess he’s my hero… and my Dad too… he was a writer and lover of books…

        • michael says:

          woo hoo – can’t wait to hear what your idea is!! Well, I’m working on a few at the moment… a really scary one about a boy who finds out when he is going to die (it’s a bit scary, sorry) and his battle to try and fix this issue…. it’s got a VERY cool twist… (not telling you what it is either!!) Am also working on a surf life-saving series which I’m hoping will get up and running next year… so a bit busy at the moment which is ok!!

          • Madi says:

            Hi Michael
            Great idea! My dad supports the Melb renegades but he is the only one! I am working on my idea but haven’t got it quite figured out yet but I’ll get there eventually!
            Thanks and best wishes
            Madi

          • Madi says:

            Asking twice again sorry! But do you get your covers designed or do you do them yourself?

  2. Sahansa says:

    Hi Michael!
    A Swimming Scene:
    All I see is the bright British flag colours of the lane ropes dividing the pool into several lanes keeping all the competitors separate. The only thing I don’t like about the Champions Swimming Carnival is the long wait. I can feel the tension rise in the air as the first event is swum. Time passes by , event after event !

    • michael says:

      Yes – I think you’re spot on Sahansa, especially with your comment about the tension with the long waits that the competitors have to endure… and all the random thoughts that would go through their minds as they try to focus on the next big race….

      • Sahansa says:

        Hi Michael,
        Thanks for answering my questions. Here’s another one. Have you ever been in a scenario like that?
        Sahansa

        • michael says:

          I have’ not for swimming… but for other sports, and music and acting too…. that tension before you’re “on” – playing or performing… a bit stressful but good to do!!!

          • Sahansa says:

            Namaste Michael,
            When in situations like that , you have to get control of your nerves. I take deep breathes and think that I am goinging to be fine when I am in these situations. What do you do?
            Sahansa

  3. Sahansa says:

    Bonjour Michael,
    This was the setting I had for my short story free write entry Standard In The Middle Of Nowhere. :
    Whoosh, whoosh, went the curtains of the last house Sarah passed as the gust of wind hit. In the middle of winter, one kilometre south of the Brooker Highway, it was nightfall. There were streetlights that lit up only six metres of road, leaving the surrounding road in pitch darkness. On this old gravel path, there were also metal benches that gave you frost bite to touch.
    Sahansa

    • michael says:

      I like the imagery that comes to my mind with the curtain billowing with the gust of wind as the car rushes by… really like that!!! Also the shadows away the lit up areas… very atmospheric!!

      • Sahansa says:

        Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Michael! What books are you currently working on? Do you write during the Christmas Holidays? What is your favourite thing to do during Christmas?
        With Christmas Spirit,
        Best Wishes
        From Sahansa

        • michael says:

          Thanks Sahansa, and to you too. I will keep on writing over the holiday break… probably not on Christmas Day though! Watching people open presents is one of my fun things to do at Christmas…

          • Sahansa says:

            Ola Micheal,
            My prefer to give presents and see the persons reaction than receive presents. I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel awkward when I receive presents.
            Sahansa

  4. Sahansa says:

    Where do you get inspirations or the setting of a story?

    • michael says:

      Sometimes from real places…. like the old railway station. Once I like a spot, then I start to delve and imagine and change things up a bit. A lot of places in my books are from real, actual places… this makes them easier to describe, but I can also change things up a bit to suit the occasion. So, go to a place; a post; take a note book; or your phone… and jot notes or record your thoughts and ideas. Sometimes though you have to research. I wrote a story partly set in the Amazon Jungle – I’ve never been there of course, so had to research… that was fun. (hot and stinky!!)

      • Sahansa says:

        What places would be in your bucket list of countries to visit?

        • michael says:

          Well, I have a long term goal with one of my daughters that we’ll look at each other and grin in the stands of a baseball game in Boston, America – so I think America is up there for me!!

          • Sahansa says:

            Good day Michael,
            That is a great goal. Do your daughters inspire your writing?
            With holly spirit,
            Sahansansa

  5. Grace says:

    A cool breeze brushes the stray pieces of hair from my face. I take a deep breath to calm my nerves. The gun is raised, on your mark, get set, go. I dive from the podium into the cool water and begin the race.

    Grace πŸ™‚

    • michael says:

      Hey there Grace, thanks so much for sending this in. Love the contrast of the tension at the edge of the pool then that blissful feeling as you plunge into the water… then I imagine your body takes over and you do what you do best… swim fast!! Hope you won that race!!

  6. Sahansa says:

    Hello Michael,
    What is your favourite scene you have written about?
    Sahansa

    • michael says:

      Hi again Sahansa – it’s a bit hard to answer that one as it’s hard to pin down one, but one that did come into my head was a scene where a boy on a skateboard is pushed at the top of a really REALLY steep hill. He has to make this quick decision to stay on the board and skate down or fall of before it gets too much speed up. Of course, he stays on… and endures a helter skelter hair-raising ride down a super steep path…

  7. Sahansa says:

    Ciao Michael,
    Were you always good at writing> Who or what inspired you to write and become a author? Have you always wanted to be an author?
    Sahansa

    • Sahansa says:

      Sorry I try it’s supposed to be were you always good at writing?

      • michael says:

        Hi Sahansa, my dad was my big inspiration as he was a keen writer. Alas, I wasn’t so good at writing when I was younger; it’s something I’ve come to later in life… but I’m glad I have!

  8. Genna says:

    The rock face is only a few centimetres from my face and I can’t remember how it got there. Dead leaves crunch on the ground below. I freeze like the lizard that I nearly stepped on before, and a wave of despair breaks over me. This is what it feels like to be hunted. Crystal stars nestled in velvet blue dance across the sky, but they’re flooded by the moonlight which pins me to the cliff. I silently scream, but the creatures emerging from the dark leafy trees of the forest choke the cry in my throat. The Hluvs have found their prey.

    • michael says:

      Hi again Genna, thanks for sharing; some lovely, atmospheric writing you’ve done. I especially love the bit about you not remembering how the rock face got there. That line, for me, opens up all sorts of possibilities… mysterious dream worlds… and the moonlight pinning you to the cliff… hmmm… love it! I wonder if the Hluvs struggle with light and somehow you’ll be able to get help from that very moonlight… maybe its saving you right now? That’s why they hunt at night…

  9. Frankie says:

    The Beach. It is only a five – minute drive from my house.
    As I run across the burning hot sand, i feel the grains sink between my toes. When I reach the water, it is a sudden change from the steaming sand to the icy cold ocean. I stand still for a moment smelling the salty, watery smell and hearing the kids screaming and playing. Then I start running into the water and before i know it, I am diving through a massive wave that is a cracking point. Shhhhh, the wave cracks as soon as i come up.

    • michael says:

      Hey Frankie, you know, you actually took me back to my childhood and remembering the sensation of hot sand and the amazing contrast of heat on the beach and iciness in the ocean. I remember we used to play a game, where we’d take it in turns to say a number, then we’d have to take that many steps towards the ocean. First one to chicken out had to be the first one to dive into the water!! Thanks so much for sharing, Frankie!! πŸ™‚

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