chain link fence around the grounds, colored tubes and slides standing/twisting high in the air, staircases, water dripping from rides, puddles of water everywhere, lifeguard stands, flags flying, wet patrons in swim suits, towels, wave pool packed with people, inner…
bodies moving swiftly through tubes/down slides, screams, laughter, conversation, parents yelling, kids crying, water dripping/splattering/splashing, staircases creaking, feet slapping on the pavement, feet splashing through puddles, piped-in music, wind whipping…
chlorine, bleach, water, sunblock, suntan oil, wet bathing suits and towels, food smells (hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, pizza, nachos), bubblegum, bug repellent, mildew
chlorinated water, sweat, sunblock, oil, hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, pizza, nachos, gum, bottled water, soda, candy bars, ice cream
pavement burning your feet, jumping from puddle to puddle to keep soles of feet from burning, slap of concrete against running feet, chafe of wet bathing suit, wedgie from big huge slide, water in your eyes, wet hair sticking to your neck, sunburn, sticky feel of…
–The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.
Example 1: I ran up the steep stairs behind Matt, ignoring how the gritty non-slip strips on the steps cut into my feet. Sure, they’d be sore tomorrow, but today all I cared about was getting in as many runs as I could on the Gut Buster. Both Matt and I planned on beating our previous summer’s record of forty trips down the triple diamond rated water slide…
–Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.
Example 1: (Simile) At the top, the green light flashed. Sean gave me the thumbs up and then threw himself into the rushing water like a thrill seeking body surfing down a waterfall…
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.