Setting Thesaurus Entry: Pool Hall


Rows of coin operated pool tables, balls, racks, cues of different weights, chalk squares (blue the most common), bar, stools, drinks on small tables along the walls, coasters, spills, leather jackets slung on chairs and stools, cues leaning against the walls, shot…


balls hitting each other, balls shuttling into the pockets or banking the sides, cries of disappointment, swearing, crowing at a good shot, cheering, good natured ribbing, drinkers talking loudly over the noise as they watch the players, glasses and bottles being…


Beer, chalk, felt, food from the kitchen, sweat, cologne, perfume, body odor, beer breath, cigarette smoke clinging to clothing and hair, leather, oiled wood


beer, pop, vodka, rum, shots of straight liquor (rye, whiskey, tequila etc), water, crunching ice cubes, pub food (see above) coffee, salt, limes, peanuts/pretzels


The slide of a pool cue shaft along the crook of the hand, scraping the chalk cube against tip, then blowing the excess off, the weight of a server’s tray loaded with drinks, leaning forward over the pool table, felt against the fingertips, a rough/chipped tabletop, sliding…

Helpful hints:

–The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1: Arlen nodded toward a short, middle-aged man as he ducked through the narrow door, hitching the collar of his jean jacket. I smiled, watching him scan the gloomy bar and finally settle on a table in the corner. Arlen had a nose for weekend tough guys–dentist or accountants who came out to slum a bit, sloughing off their wives for the night. None of them had a lick of sense to say no when we asked them for a friendly game of pool, and by the time they left with a gut full of beer, their wallets were much lighter.

–Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Simile) One quick jerk of the wrist and Joe sent the eight ball careening toward the corner pocket like a sinner running from the devil.

Think beyond what a character sees, and provide a sensory feast for readers

Logo-OneStop-For-Writers-25-smallSetting 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.

The Setting Thesaurus DuoOn 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.

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Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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10 years ago

Thanks Popsie. I saw a lot of these growing up…I lived in one of ‘those’ towns…lol

Jeanette, sorry–hope the help doesn’t come too late!

Thanks Bish! Congrats on your blog contest win the other day!

Thanks Ali and Karen! Hugs!

Karen Lange
10 years ago

Good stuff:) All sorts of images from this.

10 years ago

Very well done!

Bish Denham
10 years ago

I’ve only been in a real live pool hall a couple of times. Another wonderful entry!

Jeanette Levellie
10 years ago

Wow. Am I impressed. I needed you when I sweated grit and blood through the writing of my first two books.

So thankful to find you!

Audience of ONE

10 years ago

I love your examples, especially the one about the cougar (sad, and true).