blue, green, sea-green, whitecaps, waves, uneven shoreline, horizon, cruise ships and sailboats way out at sea, planes flying overhead with advertising banners, seaweed, shells, sand dunes, cattails, starfish, jellyfish, seagulls, beachcombers, half-washed-away sand castles…
crashing/rumbling/whispering waves, gusts of wind, seagulls crying and flapping, children screeching, people talking and laughing, snatches of conversation carried on the wind, umbrellas flapping, dogs barking, music…
hot, briny, salty, hot dogs and burgers, suntan lotion, wet towels, sweat, seaweed/algae, spilt beer, taco chips, grease, bug spray
salty air and water, sweat, cold water from bottles, hot dogs and burgers, soda, bitter drip of lotion, ice cream treats/ Popsicles, chips, gritty sand in food
soft sand, dry sand, gritty sand in your suit, scratching, chafing, sweat trickling, water running, sand sticking to wet feet, oily lotion, prickly sunburn, rough towel, hot sand burning your feet, sun’s heat beating down, cold water bottle or soda can…
–The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.
Ex 1: The purity of blue sky and warm sunlight soothed me like a tropical balm, scattering my worries about the upcoming trial…
–Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.
Ex 1 (metaphor): The surf thundered in, grabbing at the dry sand with frothing fingers…
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.