Prompt #4 – 100 Days of Summer Writing Challenge

30 May

Prompt #4: Think about the elements of setting that are important to you.  Write them down and then define them (without the help of Google).  PLEASE DO THIS PROMPT WITHOUT RESEARCHING THE ELEMENTS OF SETTING.  It’s important your base understanding is your point of reference.  You can Google after.

P.S.  This prompt is going part of a 3-day series.


Believe me, I’m working on today’s deadline for a children’s magazine story, and don’t have the luxury of time to research. If I’m off, which I probably am, I guess I will learn something new over the next three days. :0)

Off the cuff, I’d say any elements of setting that help put your reader in your story are important. I think of the five senses, though not all would come into play all of the time, or some would play out in combinations.

I’m not sure what challenge host Shannon Abercrombie means by ‘define’ the elements of setting, so I’m going to use examples.

Image -

Image –

Sight– Where are the characters?

She is singing a top a magnificent, vast Austrian mountain,  as the helicopter flies overhead blowing her hair this way and that. *wink*

He awoke with the new morning sun cascading across the cool supima, mocha chocolate bed sheets.

They owned the secret swimming hole, whose color blue belongs in the sky, and its coolness remained on the boys’ skin long after they climbed back up on the rocks in the sweltering sun of summer.

Image - catsgunn.wordpress

Image – catsgunn.wordpress

Sound– What’s going on around the characters?

Children are laughing and talking, balls are bouncing, and swings squeak on the playground at recess.

The squawks and clucks, and moos and whinnies, rise above the soothing din of the sprinklers in the farm’s fields.

At the chef’s table, in the midst of the hubbub of activity going on in the kitchen, with sizzling steaks on the grill, clinking of pots and pans, whisks in sauces, shouts to the line cooks, they whispered sweet nothings in each others ears.



Smell– What’s in the air of the scene?

Her stomach immediately started to grumble at the first whiff of opening the bakery’s door.

As he got deeper into the pine forest, the floor became a smooth bed of crunchy needles, and, when the branches waved in the wind, he was soothed by the rich aromatics of his surroundings.

He procrastinated putting on his gym clothes in the stinky, damp school locker room because they always pick him last for the teams anyway.

The fresh air mixed with scent of hay and manure, and she knew she was home.

Image- trainupachildlearnaswego.

Image- trainupachildlearnaswego.

Taste– Is the character eating?

She crinkled her nose and pouted as she slurped the last spoonful of disgusting split pea soup right before the big hand got to the 12, avoiding being sent to her room by seconds.

With her last sip, the champagne-soaked strawberry plopped on her face, and he couldn’t help but laugh at her adorable giddiness.



Touch– Are there any tactile feelings that could put the reader in touch with the scene?

Her hand swept over the baby rabbit’s silky fur, but what she couldn’t resist was holding its delicate, paper-thin ears between her fingers.

She tried to take the fish off the hook, but it’s slimy slipperiness surprised her and she dropped the fishing pole in the water.



Whoa boy, I hope I don’t come across like a dope here, but I’m only beginning my path to hone my writing craft again, and though I studied it in school, this old brain needs a refresher course for sure. Thanks for bearing with me.

I don’t think this challenge is going to be easy. Please let me hear it if the posts become too boring, or if you have any tips of your own regarding the prompts.

One Response to “Prompt #4 – 100 Days of Summer Writing Challenge”

  1. lanavoynich May 31, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Hah! The five senses were part of my answer too. Of course, I was pretty sure I wasn’t right, so didn’t post my work. 😉 I guess I should have more faith in my abilities.

    Or should I take comfort that I’m not the only one confused?

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