#amwriting: Evoking Atmosphere and Place

Reblogging this great article on evoking atmosphere in your writing. This is something I need to work on myself, particularly my tendency to ‘tell’ rather than ‘show’. Love the examples used in the article as well. ~ Flynn

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Several indie books I’ve read lately impressed me with the sense of atmosphere the author managed to pack into their work, and the sense of place.

a girl called wolfThe book I am currently reading  is a contemporary novel,  “A Girl Called Wolf” by Stephen Swartz. In the opening chapters, Swartz’s Greenland has a harsh, ethereal quality. The environment is shown as unearthly, beautiful, and deadly, as are the people. The story of his protagonist Anuka (later called Anna) and her early life stands out sharply against the nearly cinematic backdrop, yet Swartz shows it with an economy of words.

Later, when Anuka is forcibly taken to civilization, that village and its poverty, as compared to her prior life, is clear in the reader’s head. It is seen through her eyes, although the villagers themselves don’t see themselves as poor in comparison–just the opposite. Swartz manages to get that across without overstating…

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