A white, frothy cascade of water falling into a plunge pool, rocky outcroppings, lichen, moss, slippery rock, lush grasses, plants and flowers, mist, spray, rainbows, ripples, droplets, trees clinging to cliffs and overhanging the pool, butterflies, birds, flies, dragonflies, animals drinking from the pool, fish in the pool, sun baked rocks, soft beds of grass nearby…
The roar of water, water droplets pattering against rock, people speaking with raised voices, laughter, (loud) bird calls,
Water-saturated air, rich earth, green, growing things, sweet flowers perfuming the air, moss, slimy rock algae, suntan lotion or sunscreen, food odors from picnickers, pine needles (if pine/spruce trees are present)
Water, food and beverages brought in
Mist on dry skin, the cool slide of water over the skin, water resisting movement as you swim or wade, a shock of cold water touching feet, water seeping into shoes, sand, pebbles or rocks against the bottoms of your feet, tall lush grass sliding across calves, sitting on a warm rock in the sun, rough stone handholds against the palms and fingertips, slipping…
–The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.
Example 1: Looking down from my rocky perch, mist billowed out in soft clouds where water and gravity collided. Sam waved as he treaded water below, his mouth moving but his words lost in the roar of the waterfall. I didn’t need to hear him to know he was egging me on as usual. The breeze played with my hair, brushing it against my shoulders. A stray water droplet landed on my arm as I pulled in a deep breath. I could do this…
–Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.
Example 1: (Simile) A flat boulder rose up from the center of the plunge pool, it’s sun-baked surface and incredible waterfall backdrop drawing her on like a cat to a sunny window seat…
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.
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.