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Setting the Stage

         My daddy challenged me to think about the props used in a play to create a scene, and to incorporate that into my writing.  Let me demonstrate what I mean:

      April pulled the cord of the lamp on her nightstand and flopped across her bed. Her homework lay neglected on the top of her dresser, but April was too tired to care.

      Can you tell where she is? Why?

      The wind blew cold across Dylan's skin, and he shivered. Snow was starting to fall. In another two hundred yards, he would climb above the treeline and leave the sheltering pines behind him.  He hoped the camp was waiting for him and that his captain had a fire going.

     Can your imagination build the scene?  How?

     Plays can't actually transport you to different locations.  Instead, they put props on the stage so that the audience understands where they are supposed to be.

     For Tevye's bedroom, you might have a bed, a nightstand, and a dresser. Golde and Tevye night shirts and hats for Dream scene
     For Maria's escape over the alps, you should have a backdrop of mountains.
The final scene from the Sound of Music
     Use this in your writing.  Create the scene by including the necessary props.  In this way, you provide the essence of location without a minute description.  In the scenes above, you could picture a bedroom in one and a wintry mountain in the other.  Why?  I included a few items that your mind associated with certain locations.
     Try it.


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