Rooms, Houses and Buildings

In any story, regardless of genre, characters enter buildings of various types, ranging from simple mud huts to enormous skyscrapers. They might pass through a grand ballroom with an array of sparkling chandeliers or a rustic bathroom consisting of a hole in the floor.

No matter the room, the descriptions must be real because rooms are where we gather. In the ballroom they might attend a conference focusing on a medical issue or participate in a fiftieth wedding anniversary. At some point they use the bathroom. Are the counters granite or mud shelves imbedded in the wall? Does water run out of an artistic arrangement of descending pots or is there a simple bowl with standing water?

The spaces through which our characters pass reveal details about environment and its impact on they lives. Your descriptions are therefore critical in setting the scene. The way residences are decorated tell us who the characters are. A sparsely outfitted studio is vastly different from a castle on a hill filled with massive wood tables, chairs and cabinets.

Your task is to write a story in which buildings are not just backdrops but play a role in adding to the story.

How will readers know if a room is lavish unless hints of splendor appear? Or if the hut’s dirt floor is neatly brushed or covered with straw mats?

While setting is important, it also cannot dominate the scene. Be careful when writing to ensure that the amount of description does not overtake the story.

Have fun with this one.

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