Writing Assignment Focusing on Setting
Write a first-person point of view scene where the setting is pivotal in the story. This means, the narrator telling the story is part of the story and who lives in or encounters the setting. The narrator will use first-person pronouns: I, me, my, we, us, our.
Here are some prompts to consider:
- Write a scene in an abandoned, broken-down house through the eyes of a convicted criminal on the run.
- Write a scene at a tiny, uninhabited tropical island through the eyes of a lone survivor of a shipwreck.
- Write a scene at a Thanksgiving Day dinner table through the eyes of a third-world immigrant who just arrived in America.
- Write a scene in the woods through the eyes of a girl, who is deer hunting for the first time.
- Write a scene on a city street through the eyes of a homeless veteran.
- Write a scene in a spaceship through the eyes of a female astronaut.
You get the idea, right? Brainstorm a list of your own ideas, a variation of the one of the above, or use one of the above ideas.
Length and Details
The scene should be brief–two pages–not a long story. However, it should also feel complete to the reader when it closes. It should have a beginning, middle, and an end. It should have an arc (climax) like Freytag’s plot chart. That means, your character encounters a conflict.
Be sure to include detailed descriptions of time and place, so that the setting functions as a backdrop for the protagonist to face whatever conflict he/she will encounter in that setting.
To help keep your scene brief, don’t include a lot of characters. One or two characters beside the narrator is enough to work with.
Don’t forget what you learned previously about developing a character. You may use direct descriptions that focus on the physical traits of the character and/or you may use indirect descriptions where readers decipher the traits of the character via their dialogue and response to other characters and the situation.
Be careful to show the scene not tell it. After you’ve written your first draft, go back and find the places where you need to show more vs. telling.
Final Draft Requirements
Follow these instructions for typing the final draft:
- The scene must be typed in a Microsoft Word file (.docx).
- It must have one-inch margins, be double-spaced, and typed in a 12 pt. readable font like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.
- Indent paragraphs one tab, which is five to seven spaces.
- In the upper left-hand corner of page 1, type your first and last name, the name of the class, the date the assignment is due, and the assignment name. Example:
ENGL 1465 – Creative Writing
Writing Assignment: Setting Story
- In the upper right-hand corner of all the pages, insert page numbers in the header. Type your last name in front of the page numbers. Example: Johnson 1.
- Be sure to give your story a title. It should be centered over the text of the entire story on page 1. Do not bold, enlarge, or punctuate the title. Capitalize the first word and each important word in the title.