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.