Wednesday, January 13, 2016


As an author, I believe my strengths are plotting, dialog, and action.  I believe my primary weakness is setting description.  I outline all the stuff that I want to happen, but I don't include any color in that outline.  It reads like a news report.  The result is that I have to go back and add some color to the story after the fact.

A master of setting, of course, was Tolkien.  Consider this selection from Lord of the Rings:

“The others cast themselves down upon the fragrant grass, but Frodo stood awhile still lost in wonder. It seemed to him that he had stepped through a high window that looked on a vanished world. A light was upon it for which his language had no name. All that he saw was shapely, but the shapes seemed at once clear cut, as if they had been first conceived and drawn at the uncovering of his eyes, and ancient as if they had endured for ever. He saw no colour but those he knew, gold and white and blue and green, but they were fresh and poignant, as if he had at that moment first perceived them and made for them names new and wonderful. In winter here no heart could mourn for summer or for spring. No blemish or sickness or deformity could be seen in anything that grew upon the earth. On the land of Lórien, there was no stain.”

I hope I can write like that some day.

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