Making readers care and feel like they’re part of the story should be the number one goal for all writers. Ironically, many storytellers fail to maximize one of fiction’s most powerful elements to achieve this: the setting. Not only can the right location become a conduit for emotion, it can also provide conflict, characterize the story’s cast, reveal significant backstory, and trigger the reader’s own emotional memories through sensory details and deep point of view.
Inside The Urban Thesaurus, you’ll find:
- A list of the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds for over 120 urban settings
- Possible sources of conflict for each location to help you brainstorm ways to naturally complicate matters for your characters
- Advice on how to make every piece of description count so you can maintain the right pace and keep readers engaged
- Tips on utilizing the five senses to encourage readers to more fully experience each moment by triggering their own emotional memories
- Information on how to use the setting to characterize a story’s cast through personalization and emotional values while using emotional triggers to steer their decisions
- A review of specific challenges that arise when writing urban locations, along with common descriptive pitfalls that should be avoided
- Downloadable tools to help you plan each setting so you can choose the right one for a scene, providing the biggest storytelling punch
The Urban Setting Thesaurus helps you tailor each setting to your characters while creating a realistic, textured world readers will long to return to, even after the book closes.
|Product dimensions:||6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I received a free copy of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s The Urban Settings Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces in exchange for an honest review. Since I'm a fan of their Emotion Thesaurus, I was excited to dive in. The Urban Setting Thesaurus is a wonderful resource for a fiction writer! The bulk of this book and its sister craft book, The Rural Settings Thesaurus, is comprised of two-page entries describing dozens of settings that could pop up in any fiction genre — from a police car to an emergency room, the stands of a sporting event to an art gallery. Each entry provides a wealth of sensory words describing the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and even tastes that characterize that setting. In the recording studio entry, you find sights like vocalists warming up, cords running from instruments to outlets and recording equipment, and the “recording” light to let you know to keep quiet. You hear humming or instruments being played, smell takeout Chinese food or coffee, and feel the snug fit of headphones over your ears. If your scene takes place in a setting you’ve never been to, this thesaurus can help you craft the experience your characters will encounter in a way that will make your story feel more real to your reader. Not sure where a scene should take place? A flip through entries listed in the table of contents could help you brainstorm. Perhaps your protagonist is mulling over whether to confront her antagonist…she could do that anywhere. But what she sees, hears and touches as she weighs her decision could more vividly show her mood and emotions. What backdrop would carry the most emotional impact? Would highlight her fears and the challenges she’ll need to face? In addition to the setting entries, there is a wealth of information in the first chapters of The Urban Setting Thesaurus on how to use setting to convey your story with the most impact. These chapters discuss how to use setting to create a mood, to characterize a room full of primary and secondary characters, and to heighten tension. They also illustrate using all the senses to pull the reader into your scene. I’m sure I’ll turn to this helpful resource again and again.
As a fiction author, I am always looking for ways to improve my writing and draw my readers into the stories that I tell. I found this book to be very informative on using setting to do just that. What I really liked about this thesaurus was that it gave me lots of sensory details and suggestions for a multitude of settings that I could use. Not just what my characters might see, but also what they might hear, smell, taste, and touch. I found the texture (touch) sections particularly helpful because that seems to be a sense that is often overlooked. Also included with each setting is a list of possible sources of conflict, people commonly found in that setting, setting notes and tips, related settings, and a setting example. Just reading the sources of conflict set my mind to brainstorming all kinds of possibilities for my work in progress. These authors have done a tremendous amount of work and I appreciate that their hard work will be making my writing life a little bit easier. This book has become part of my permanent writing resource library. I highly recommend it to any writer. I will be getting The Rural Setting Thesaurus as well.
It was a dark and stormy night… Eh, kind of a boring opening, right? Right. So any good author worth his or her salt would want a really impactful way to describe the setting, one that will draw readers into the story and keep them there. Authors want readers to feel as if they’re living the story through the point of view character’s eyes, so their experience with the book will not only be worth their time and money, but will keep them coming back for more. This is where The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces will come in handy. The authors, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi (sheer geniuses, if you ask me!) have written a book that will help authors describe and weave in setting descriptions so effortlessly that readers will not want to skim any part of the book. While this book covers settings one would find in urban areas, it covers so much more about the craft of writing. As I read this book, I found myself highlighting important tidbits on nearly every page. The authors discuss the importance of weaving setting in to stories to portray emotions, give hints of backstory, sensory details, etc. When it comes to the description for each setting, it’s so much more than just “here’s what a construction site looks like”. Each setting lists: sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures and sensations, possible sources of conflict, people commonly found here, related settings that may tie in, setting notes and tips, a setting description example, then techniques and devices used, and resulting effects. We’ve got a veritable goldmine of information in this book! It’s one thing for an author to imagine a setting, or to have possibly visited a particular setting, and this book has so much more than just lists of the five senses your character might experience in a specific location. I’ve been a fan of these authors for several years now, and have all of their previous thesauri, as well as belong to their “One Stop for Writers” website. This new book puts them on a whole new level. So do yourself a favor and get this book immediately to take your writing to a new level. I’m going online right now to order the companion book, The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Places. I received this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review.
Another absolutely indispensable guide that no serious writer should be without.