green, brown, dead fall, fallen trees, logs, branches, twigs, fallen leaves, ferns, underbrush, moss, brambles, thickets, ivy, berry bushes, pine needles, pine cones, acorns, insects, rabbits, birds, squirrels, lizards, mice, foxes, spider webs, deer, sun-dappled, shady, shafts…
branches creaking, feet shuffling through detritus, squirrels chattering, leaves rustling, wind whistling around trunks/disturbing the leaves, birds singing, insects humming/ churring, rustle of animals rooting in underbrush, scrabbling of lizards on tree bark, limbs..
tree smells (pine, etc), wildflowers, earthy smell, animal scents, rotting wood, fresh, stale, dry, damp, wet, scents on the wind from nearby places (water, wood smoke, ocean), wild mint/herbs, decay (bogs, stagnant pools of water, dead animals), skunks, skunk weed…
earthy air, sweet/sour berries, nuts, mushrooms, wild onions, seeds, bitter, mint, gritty, mealy, meaty, relish, savor, sample, salty, acidic, sweet, flavorful, sour, tart, flavorless, swallow, mild, nutty, relish…
rough tree bark, kiss of falling leaves, branches slapping, uneven ground, knobby roots underfoot, sticky sap, underbrush that tangles/grabs, prickle of briars, slick leaves, twigs snagging at hair/scratching face, tickle of hanging moss, spider web strands on skin, soft…
–The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.
Example 1: I lifted my face, letting the light and shadow dance across my skin. Bees hummed in and out of the pennyroyal. I inhaled its minty smell and continued on, delighting in the sound of my feet sliding through the leaves.
–Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.
Example 1: (Simile) The trees lashed and crashed against each other like drum sticks in the hands of a giant…
Does your setting take place at night? Check out this similar Entry: WOODS AT NIGHT
Think beyond what a character sees, and provide a sensory feast for readers
Setting is much more than just a backdrop, which is why choosing the right one and describing it well is so important. To help with this, we have expanded and integrated this thesaurus into our online library at One Stop For Writers. Each entry has been enhanced to include possible sources of conflict, people commonly found in these locales, and setting-specific notes and tips, and the collection itself has been augmented to include a whopping 230 entries—all of which have been cross-referenced with our other thesauruses for easy searchability. So if you’re interested in seeing a free sample of this powerful Setting Thesaurus, head on over and register at One Stop.
On the other hand, if you prefer your references in book form, we’ve got you covered, too, because both books are now available for purchase in digital and print copies. In addition to the entries, each book contains instructional front matter to help you maximize your settings. With advice on topics like making your setting do double duty and using figurative language to bring them to life, these books offer ample information to help you maximize your settings and write them effectively.
Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling.
That helped me a lot!
Oliver Luke O'Malley says
I love descriptive writing but can you help me to write a forest setting description?
Thank you for this great help…☺️☺️
Dharma Gandhi says
Thanks this helped a lot!
Shaunak Jadhav says
Lovely book, It helped me a lot thanks
Michelle Huss says
Are you lovely ladies planning to put these descriptions into an ebook? I’m enjoying all seven of your thesaurus books.
BECCA PUGLISI says
Hi, Michelle! I’m so glad you’re enjoying our books. Are you asking when the setting thesaurus is going to be turned into a book? If so, you’ll be happy to know that those books are published and available. You can find ebook information on our Bookstore page. https://writershelpingwriters.net/bookstore/
If you have other questions or need to clarify anything, just let us know!
OMG! This is powerful. God bless you richly.
Please ma, can you help me to proofread my short fiction. I’m begging in the name of God. I have written a short fiction, but no one to help me to proofread it.
Thanks in anticipation.
ANGELA ACKERMAN says
Sorry, we are unable to do that, but if you join a writing group or have a good critique partner, they should be able to help you. Good luck and all the best. 🙂
amazing thankyou so much 🙂
kit smith says
thanks! these will help a lot with the forested settings in my book series: the elemental masters.
Oh wow, your books are absolutely amazing. I’ve read all of them
Thank you for this, however, could you also do the same setting description based on the setting of a beach? That would be extremely helpful for me. THank yoU!
Hi, this is extremely helpful, but could you make another setting description, the same as this one, except about a beach scene? That would be super helpful for me. Thanks!
BECCA PUGLISI says
Hi, Stacey! We actually do have a Beach entry. You can find it here: https://writershelpingwriters.net/2008/09/setting-thesaurus-entry-beach/. And our TOC also contains a list of the entries you can find here: https://writershelpingwriters.net/occupation-thesaurus/
But if you’re looking for settings that we don’t have, you might consider checking out our website, One Stop for Writers. All of our thesaurus collection are there, and most of them have been expanded to include additional entries. For instance, here is the complete list of setting entries you can find at One Stop: https://onestopforwriters.com/scene_settings
Best of luck to you!
Thank you so much Becca, i just really appreciate it, i love the websites you gave me and it is simply WONDERFUL!!!
This is wonderful, thank you! Very helpful!
this really helped me. thank you lol 🙂
Patti Brown says
I am helping a friend open a bar in a small town…the lifestyle here is of the following:
Fishing, boating on our two rivers….Wabash and Tippecanoe and hunting deer.
Cannot come up with a name to incorporate both of the passions our customers would enjoy.
I have gone to your description setting entry for ideas…but just can not gel together this duo!!! Help?
BECCA PUGLISI says
Hi, Patti. I’m sorry, but I’m not clear on what you’re after. Are you looking for help coming up with a name for a fictional town?
Ravi Kumar Gouru says
THANKS VERY MUCH FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL WORK.
MY DAUGHTER WILL HAVE A GOOD RESOURCE OF DESCRIBING WORDS.
Thank you so much for this! I have been struggling with my forest scenes for the longest time, stuck on the same small handful of descriptors–this is brilliant. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thank you very much for these amazing words! keep the work up!
Thank you so much. These beautiful words makes picturing a scene extremely easy.
I absaloutly loved thease words i really needed them to help me get my English paper to life
It’s a great Help for me. I was looking for such post that could give some interesting wording to describe a greenery and forest scene.
Thank you very much 🙂
I showed my teacher and she said you rocked. Thank you 🙂
Great help for my book! Thank you!
Thanks. Great Guide for a descriptive piece of writing A*
John Carlo says
Creatively helpful, specially to beginning writers like me. Thanks for this web.
very helpful thanxx
cood u include more sentance exxampils thanx that wood be helpful!
I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!! Just what I am writing about!!! THANKS!!!!!!!
Thanks for the kind words. When Angela and I started this blog, one of our main goals was to keep it relevant to writers. Glad to know we’re doing alright on that front :).
This is fabulous!! I love it!
Angela and Becca, you one-hit wonders, you’ve done it again! You’re very good at relating to the reader (and making it easy on the writer).
Great job. And I really like the drumsticks simile.
PJ Hoover says
So perfect! Thanks!
I love the simile and metaphor section!