Today’s a special one for Becca and me. In less than a week, we will be expanding our thesaurus family by adding The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Natural and Personal Places and The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces.
We are very excited about these books, and hope they’ll change how you think about setting and description. Sensory detail, a large part of each book, is an especially powerful way to draw readers into our story’s world, so we really need to get it right.
Are you up for a short trip, dear blog reader? I’d like to show you exactly what I mean.
You’re in? Great! Let’s head out now. The air is cooler with the sun tucking itself in for the night, and as shadows grow longer, there’s less chance we’ll be seen.
See that door at the edge of the old Abbey’s courtyard? That’s out ticket past the city walls unseen. Each year, the ivy strangles it a bit more, and few even know it’s here. As far as I know, Becca and I have the only keys. Heavy buggers too, these knobby pieces of iron. Always dragging at our pockets.
Damn, stuck. Help me give it a shove? Just watch the ivy. It’s slick with dew and if a piece happens to slither up against your neck, you’re apt to scream. And, well, clearly a hidden exit is only useful if it stays a secret.
Ah, that’s better. Out here, there’s lots of tree cover, and dusk is closing in. We should be safe from prying eyes.
I love the woods, don’t you? Each breath is fresh and sharp with the tang of pine. Odd though, how the mist is rolling in so quickly. I can almost feel it, like a wet glove sliding across my skin.
And not to start something, but does it seem..a bit too quiet? Even our shoes are barely scuffing the trail. I don’t know, maybe the fog swallows the sound or something. You’re not from around here and so probably don’t know, but a few years back, a couple came this way on a hike and simply…disappeared. All their gear–backpacks, climbing poles, water bottles–sitting in a pile on the trail. But them? Nothing. No trace.
I know, such a morbid thing to bring up. Still, let’s pick up the pace a bit?
Ahead, that tunnel at the end of those tracks? We’re headed in there.
Oh, the look on your face. Priceless. I wish you could see it!
Don’t worry, it’s barely a scrap of dark. No boogeymen, I promise. Besides, I brought my headlamp, see? Trust me, Becca and I have come this way dozens of times. It’s safe. One hundred percent. Would I lie to you?
So let’s go.
Okay, so I maybe I forgot to mention this part about a ladder. And, you know, going underground. But here’s the thing…if I’d told you about this shaft, you might have never agreed to come in the first place!
And really, you’ve come this far. What’s a tiny bit further? What’s waiting is worth it.
I’ll go first, so you can follow the light down. Hold onto the bars tightly because rust is settling in. If some of the metal flakes away and your hand slips…well, best we don’t think about that.
Ta-da, solid ground. Feels good, doesn’t it? You were a champ, truly. Nicely done.
And guess what? If you open your eyes, you’ll see we’re here.
No one bothers us here–it’s terrific! We can really dig in get some serious writing done. When that fireplace is crackling and wood smoke is in the air, well, you’d love it. Home away from home.
Ah, you spotted our vault. Sharp eye, my friend, sharp eye. Manufactured steel, twelve inches thick, twenty bolts, and completely fire, flood, and apocalypse proof. It’s quite the door, no two ways about it.
Sure, I would be too, if I were in your shoes. I mean, that’s some serious hardware for a writing cave.
And…I would like to tell you. I would. But Becca, well, she’s a bit intense about this stuff. And what is behind this door is something we’re going to talk about on June 13, the official release date for our Setting Thesaurus books.
But I wanted you to see it today. I wanted you to know how to get here. So you can come back, on your own, in just a few days.
…Because you are going to want to come back.
…You are going to want to know what’s behind this door.
Mark your calendar. Set a reminder on your phone. Write the date in permanent ink on your palm.
And take this key, the one for the abbey door. Tuck it away. Don’t lose it, whatever you do.
Remember, what happens in the Thesaurus Club stays in the Thesaurus Club.
The next meeting is June 13th, and you’re invited. Don’t be late. You won’t want to miss it, not for the world.
The Setting Books are almost here, but in the meantime, try out a sample. Becca’s sharing wisdom on How Writers Can Bring Setting to Life through Personification at Live Write Thrive. And her recent podcast on Writing Captivating Novels Using the Emotion and Setting Thesaurus is like a mini master class.
See you on the 13th!
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.